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Giraffe at Jyllands Park Zoo, Denmark, gets reprieve

Feb. 14, 2014 at 7:12 PM   |   Comments

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GROZNY, Russia, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Officials at a Danish zoo denied Friday they had plans to destroy a giraffe to make room if the zoo acquires a female for breeding purposes.

Britain's Guardian newspaper reported Thursday the Jyllands Park Zoo near Herning planned to kill a 7-year-old giraffe named Marius because it would be difficult to find him a new home after a female is acquired.

Another British newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, said Friday the zoo posted a notice on Facebook saying it will not acquire the female "any time soon" and saying media reports about plans to put the male giraffe down were "only based on a hypothetical situation, which we have answered questions about. This situation now seems to be eliminated."

"As a result of this we will of course keep both our giraffes, as we have stated all along," the post said. "There is no plan, and there has never been a plan to neither move or euthanize any of our giraffes."

An 18-month-old giraffe, also named Marius, was killed at the Copenhagen Zoo and its meat fed to lions and other animals in the zoo over concerns about inbreeding.

Jyllands Park zookeeper Janni Lojtved Poulsen had said this week it would take directions from the breeding program coordinator "if we are told we have to euthanize" the animal.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov offered to take in the giraffe at Jyllands Park Zoo.

Kadyrov has his own private zoo on the grounds of his palatial residence near the capital of Grozny, and offered to add Marius to his collection of animals, RIA Novosti reported Friday.

"I'm worried by reports that another giraffe is about to be slaughtered in Denmark," Kadyrov wrote on his Instagram account Thursday. "I'm ready to accept Marius for humanitarian reasons. We guarantee him proper living conditions and will take care of his health."

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