We’ve had a couple of features on zoos in recent months.  There was Allison Price’s feature article on US zoos, and blogpost about a Chris Packham zoos and their role in conservation.

Today, here is a link to the BBC’s Discover Wildlife magazine, where there is an article about the killing of healthy animals in zoos.  Is this just good management of resources, or eugenics as others claim?

Marius was the healthy 18 month old male giraffe that was killed in Copenhagen zoo back in February because it was surplus to breeding requirements – that is, its genes were just too common to be of any use, although that was hardly its fault.  The BBC article says that it’s estimated that somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 animals are killed in European zoos every year.  Some of these are simply old, of course; but not all.

These are emotive issues, and it can be hard to find neutral language to discuss them.  This is obvious from reading the article, and it is worth looking at the comments on it as they also introduce a range of other perspectives.  Perhaps it is inevitable that what you think of such matters is coloured by how you feel about zoos themselves.

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