A second giraffe called Marius could be put down, a Danish zoo has announced, just days after the controversial slaughter of an 18-month-old animal by the same name.
According to media reports, the Danish Jyllands Park Zoo says it may euthanize the seven-year-old animal if it manages to acquire a female giraffe.
Zookeeper Jani Lojtved Poulson told Danish news agency Ritzau the zoo has two males, explaining: “We can’t have two males and one female. Then there will be fights.”
The younger Marius was put down at Copenhagen Zoo on Sunday, then skinned in front of children and fed to lions.
The decision to kill Marius was prompted by the strict inter-breeding rules of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria to which the zoo belongs.
The older Marius is also considered unsuitable for breeding and while he could potentially moved from Jyllands Park Zoo, it will be difficult to find him a new home.
Poulson told The Guardian: “If we are told to euthanize [Marius] we would of course do that.”
Of the furore and wave of protests faced by Copenhagen Zoo for putting down their animal, he replied: “It doesn’t affect us in any way. We are completely behind Copenhagen and would have done the same.”
A spokesman for PETA told HuffPost UK: "As if to ram home the idea that zoos serve no purpose other than to incarcerate intelligent animals so as to turn a profit, a second Danish zoo now proposes to slaughter a giraffe, over the world's objections.
"Zoo breeding programmes serve no conservation purpose because animals born in zoos are rarely, if ever, returned to their natural homelands. Instead, zoos spend millions on keeping animals on display like living museum exhibits and dispose of them when they become inconvenient.
"For anyone who cares about giraffes and other individuals serving life sentences in zoos, the giraffe 'culling' should confirm that zoos are hideous institutions that do not deserve public support. The way to protect 'exotic' animals is to donate to campaigns that protect them in their native habitats."