Shocking footage: 'Healthy giraffe killed by zookeepers in Denmark'

A zoo in Denmark has sparked outrage after killing a healthy young giraffe and dismembering it in public, ready to feed to the lions. Aged just 18 months old, Marius was shot in the head with a bolt gun at Copenhagen Zoo - despite calls from animal rights groups and other zoos around the world to transfer him elsewhere instead. An online petition to save the young creature attracted more than 25,000 signatures, and Facebook campaigns gathered thousands of supporters. The decision came after the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria recommended he be put down, as his genes were too similar to other giraffes in their breeding programme and they wanted to prevent inbreeding. Speaking to the crowd which gathered to watch the autopsy, vet Mads Bertelsen revealed how they lured the young creature to them with its favourite food -- rye bread. "I stood behind with a rifle, and when he put his head forward and ate the rye bread, then I shot him through the brain," he said. "It sounds violent, but it means that Marius had no idea of what was coming. He got his bread, then he died." The meat from the carcass will be used as food for the zoo's lions, tigers and polar bears. Report by Charlotte Cross.

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