Marius the giraffe: second healthy animal in Denmark named Marius could soon be dead

Marius at Jyllands Park Zoo in Western Denmark may suffer a similar fate as late his namesake in Copenhagen

Days after a Copenhagen Zoo made the controversial decision to euthanise a healthy giraffe named Marius, another Danish zoo has said it may do the same to its own giraffe also called Marius, it has been reported.

Since ‘the original’ Marius was dissected and fed to lions as visitors watched at the zoo in the Danish capital, zoo staff have received death threats by phone and email.

Undeterred, Jyllands Park Zoo in Western Denmark announced that it may have to make a similar decision with its own Marius.

The decision follows Jyllands Park Zoo being approved to take part in the European breeding programme, the Guardian reported.

The zoo claims that Marius - one of its two male giraffes - will have to be culled if it can acquire a female.

As was the case with Copenhagen Zoo’s Marius, it is unlikely the giraffe can be re-homed because of its genetic makeup.

Both giraffes are victim to a practice familiar to geneticists where healthy animals are killed if they do not fit into conservation practices in zoos.

Problems arise when experts worry animals are too similar, or too different, to others in breeding programmes to allow them to mate.

Janni Løjtved Poulsen, zookeeper at Jyllands Park, told the Guardian it was not clear when the park would acquire a female giraffe and that the decision on Marius's future would be taken by the breeding programme co-ordinator.

“If we are told we have to euthanise [Marius] we would of course do that,” said Poulsen.


She added the park managers would not to be swayed by the wave of protests, including a 27,000 signature strong petition, that followed the killing of 18-month-old Marius at Copenhagen zoo.

“It doesn't affect us in any way. We are completely behind Copenhagen and would have done the same,” said Poulsen, adding the zoo had not decided if it would also stage a public dissection.

“We thought it was amusing that there was another Marius among the giraffes when there aren't that many giraffes in Denmark overall,” she said of the animal named after a former Jyllands Park vet.

Copenhagen zoo's scientific director, Bengt Holst, stressed on Denmark's Radio that to avoid personification, their animals were not officially named.

"The zoo keepers sometimes call the animals names, and then our guests have heard the name Marius," Holst told Denmark's Radio, adding: "But in no way is it an official name it has been given."

The death of the first Marius comes after two leopard cubs were culled at Copenhagen Zoo in 2012, while four years before that, three Siberian tigers were put to sleep in Germany.

Read more: Copenhagen Zoo kills 'surplus' young giraffe
If you're really saddened by the death of Marius, stop visiting zoos
Don't put sentimentality before good sense


Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
peopleSitcom star urges men to be more supportive of women than ever
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
footballLouis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United and Wenger can still spring a surprise
The spider makes its break for freedom
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Payroll Officer - Part Time

£12047 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Part Time Payroll Officer required for t...

Recruitment Genius: Event Management and Marketing Admin Support

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

Recruitment Genius: Lettings Negotiator

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Central London based firm loo...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot