Animal group criticizes Danish zoo for killing young lion
ODENSE, Denmark - The Associated Press
A dead male lion is carried to the table to be prepared for public dissection in front of children in Odense Zoo, Denmark, Thursday, Oct 15, 2015. AP PhotoAn animal protection group sharply criticized a Danish zoo on Oct. 15 for having killed a year-old female lion to avoid inbreeding.
Joanna Swabe, head of the London-based Humane Society International/Europe, says "zoos routinely over-breed" and kill (...) thousands of other animals deemed surplus to requirements."
Swabe says zoos have "an ethical responsibility" and can use contraceptive options "to manage reproduction, prevent inbreeding (and) maintain genetically healthy populations."
There was no immediate reaction or comment from Odense Zoo in central Denmark, where another lion - a male culled nine months ago - will be dissected publicly Thursday during the annual school fall holiday. The feline has been kept in a freezer after it was killed nine months ago.
Denmark's TV2 said the zoo decided to dissect the male lion because it is bigger that the female.
This year the zoo has killed three of its lions, saying they had failed to find new homes for them despite numerous attempts.
One of central Denmark's most popular tourist attractions, the zoo was elected "Best in Europe" in the category with up to 500,000 visitors per year in 2013 and 2015.
Public dissections are common in several European countries, often before students. In Denmark, the Odense Zoo has done it for 20 years. Funen Village, a nearby open-air museum in Odense, 170 kilometers (105 miles) west of Copenhagen, on Wednesday slaughtered and dissected a pig before children while explaining which parts of the animal are eaten.
In February 2014, however, Copenhagen Zoo faced international protests after a giraffe was killed, dissected and fed to lions in front of children.