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Columbus Zoo's Jack Hanna Lambasts Denmark Zoo for Giraffe Killing

STOCKHOLM (AP/Kate Liebers) -- Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Jack Hanna lambasted a Denmark zoo after they killed a healthy giraffe and fed it to lions as children watched.

"Abominable. Insensitive. Grotesque. This is not what we are about at the Columbus Zoo. Most zoos in the country don't do this," Hanna said. "I would have personally, with my money, paid for that giraffe to come over to our country and taken care of it."

The Copenhagen Zoo staff members reportedly received death threats after the giraffe's death.

Zoo spokesman Tobias Stenbaek Bro said Monday that he and the zoo's scientific director, Bengt Holst, received several threats over the telephone and in emails. They quoted one email as saying: "The children of the staff of Copenhagen Zoo should all be killed or should get cancer."

The giraffe, Marius, was killed Sunday using a bolt pistol, then skinned and fed to lions in front of visitors, including children.

The killing triggered a wave of online protests and debate about zoo conditions.

The zoo said it killed Marius to prevent inbreeding, and it defended the public feeding as a display of scientific knowledge about animals.

2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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