The Daily Grind Video

So this happened.

A zoo in Copenhagen, Denmark is under fire after euthanizing one of its male giraffes and feeding it to lions in front of zoo visitors.

The giraffe, named Marius, was scheduled to be euthanized in an effort to keep the zoo’s giraffe population from inbreeding. And despite online petitions to save Marius, the Danish capital said it had no place for him in their herd.

“Our giraffes are part of an international breeding program, which has a purpose of ensuring a sound and healthy population of giraffes,” Bengt Holst, scientific director at Copenhagen Zoo, told CNN. “It can only be done by matching the genetic composition of the various animals with the available space. … When giraffes breed as well as they do now, then you will inevitably run into so-called surplus problems now and then.”

CNN anchor Jonathan Mann asked if it would have been possible to sterilize Marius instead of killing him.

“If we just sterilize him, he will take up space for more genetically valuable giraffes,” Holst answered.

Marius was euthanized by bolt gun (not lethal injection) so as not to contaminate his meat. After an autopsy, he was dismembered in front of the zoo audience and fed to the lions.

“In this case we would never throw away 200 kilograms of meat,” Holst said.

As horrific as this all sounds, however, when asked if the children in the crowd cried while witnessing the feasting, Holst had this to say:

The crowd was “very enthusiastic” and “the kids asked good questions.”

We can’t decide what’s more disturbing: the enthusiasm for the butchering, or the total disregard for a healthy animal’s life.