Yes, I realize I’m on another rant…I try not to rant too terribly often but in this case, I simply couldn’t help myself. I get annoyed enough when someone dumps the cell phone they bought three months ago for $500 just to drop another couple hundred dollars to upgrade to the newest one. Is the new version really that much better than what you had? Or are you just trying to look cool by having the latest and greatest?
So imagine my shock when I recently heard of a Copenhagen Zoo doing pretty much the same thing. Very small, minor, trivial differences. Such as, instead of iPhones that they’re getting rid of, it’s a family of four perfectly healthy lions. Yes, you read that correctly. The zoo euthanized four lions in one fell swoop. Now these lions did not team up to kill their handlers and therefore had to be put down. They aren’t housing a biological pathogen that could wipe out all of Denmark. They do not have 666 tattooed on the back of their manes. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with them at all.
So why off them as if they’re yesterday’s news? Because, according to the zoo, they are yesterday’s news. Apparently this lovely quartet of endangered animals was given the boot to make room for one new young male lion the zoo scored. The zoo tried to offload the cubs (oh, how humane) but no one took them in (so they say), so what else were they supposed to do? Slice and dice time, kiddos! Sorry!
What’s most messed up about this whole thing is the math involved. The new lion coming in was basically procured to mate with two lionesses who reached breeding age in 2012. So, wait? What? The zoo killed four lions so that they could bring in one lion to hopefully make more lions? Maybe the adults in the family unit were past their prime (which is questionable since they had two young cubs in the pride…I mean just where did those come from??) but I still don’t get how killing two perfectly healthy cubs for one male is sound arithmetic. Sure we all like 2-for-1 sales, but this one seems a bit backwards to me. It just sounds like gambling to me. Sure the new male will probably be successful at pumping out some kids of his own, but if you already have two, why tempt fate? That’s like winning $1,000 at craps then instead of walking out of the casino you keep playing because you can’t help but feed the greed.
The zoo claims that in nature, this new male lion would surely kill off the cubs (because they are not his offspring). That may be true. But and it’s a pretty big “but,” that would only happen if he bested the other dominant male and became the dominant male himself. The zoo never allowed this natural process to take place – they simply got rid of the competition by killing off the two resident male lions. And rather than segregate the cubs until they reach maturity, well, they just killed them off too. You know. To be safe. To allow natural selection to do its thing.
This zoo has been doing awesome lately. It’s the same zoo that killed a healthy two-year old giraffe (named Marius) because he “didn’t fit in the zoo’s breeding program.” Forget the fact that they obviously bred him into surplus. I mean why breed a species in your care if you’re just going to kill it? That makes a lot of sense. Oh, and it gets worse. After they made the decision to kill Marius (after having several offers from other sanctuaries to take him), they actually thought it would be a good idea to make his death and dissection public…so it all took place in gory, graphic detail in front of zoo visitors, many of whom were children. Don’t even get me started on the parents who thought it would be a good idea for the kids to see a giraffe shot with a captive bolt, chopped up and fed to lions. Oh wait. These are the same lions they just euthanized. How wonderful. It’s come full circle.
I mean, hey – let’s pack up the kids, honey! We’re going to Denmark! This zoo sounds like it knows exactly what it’s doing. Fair warning though, Little Jonny, if I see a cuter kid than you I might have to put you down so I can upgrade. That’s apparently fair game there.