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Uproar as healthy, young giraffe is put down at Denmark zoo

Published on Feb 10, 2014 12:17 AM

COPENHAGEN (AFP) - A Danish zoo sparked outrage on Sunday when it put down a healthy young giraffe to prevent inbreeding, before chopping it up and feeding it to lions.

The fate of 18-month-old Marius shocked animal lovers around the world, with thousands signing an online petition to save him and a billionaire offering to buy him and keep him in his Beverly Hills garden.

However last-ditch efforts to spare Marius were to no avail and he was put down with a bolt gun early on Sunday, zoo spokesman Tobias Stenbaek Bro confirmed.

A crowd of visitors, including small children, looked on as the giraffe was put down. Some grimaced while others took photos as he was autopsied and chopped up. A full-maned lion later tucked into the giraffe's remains, fed to carnivores at the zoo.

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