Copenhagen Zoo lions tuck into the remains of Marius the giraffe, Feb. 10, 2014.
Gonzales Photo—Demotix/Corbis
March 25, 2014 12:35 PM EDT

The Copenhagen Zoo put down two lions and two 10-month-old cubs, all healthy, to make room for a new male lion Monday.

A spokesperson told Agence France-Presse that the lions were killed because the new male would have killed them “as soon as he got the chance.”

This news comes just one month after the Danish zoo incited international vitriol, not to mention death threats, for shooting a healthy 18-month-old giraffe named Marius in the head with a bolt gun and then publicly dissecting him in front of small children and feeding him to lions.

The zoo defended its killing of the giraffe because of Europe’s inbreeding laws, even though other zoos offered to take Marius off its hands.


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