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Marius the giraffe is pictured in Copenhagen Zoo
Marius the giraffe is pictured in Copenhagen Zoo February 7, 2014. The Copenhagen Zoo went ahead with a plan to shoot and dismember a healthy giraffe on Sunday and feed the 18-month-old animal's carcass to lions - an action the zoo said was in line with anti-inbreeding rules meant to ensure a healthy giraffe population. The giraffe, named Marius, was shot in the head and then cut apart in view of children, according to a video of the incident released by the Denmark-based production company Localize. The zoo's plans had sparked an outcry from animal rights activists. A British zoo had offered to give Marius a home and even started an online petition to save the giraffe, gathering more than 25,000 signatures. Picture taken February 7, 2014. REUTERS/Keld Navntoft/Scanpix Denmark (DENMARK - Tags: ANIMALS SOCIETY) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. DENMARK OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN DENMARK

Marius the giraffe put down and fed to lions at Copenhagen Zoo

10 February 2014

Despite outcry from animal rights activists and offers to rehome the animal, Marius the giraffe was led into a yard and shot in the head by zookeepers at Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark on Sunday morning. After being shot he was publicly dissected in front of dozens of tourists, including children, before his carcass was fed to lions. The healthy 18-month-old giraffe was shot because his genes were too similar to other animals in the breeding pool, according to a statement on the Copenhagen Zoo website. Several offers to save the animal was received by the Danish zoo, including one from Yorkshire Wildlife Park, near Doncaster.