The Copenhagen zoo killed four of its lions Monday, just weeks after deciding to shoot its giraffe.
Two 10-month-old cubs and their “very old” parents were killed to make room for a new three-year-old male, since there “wasn’t any interest” for them elsewhere, a spokesman for the zoo said, The New York Daily News reports.
“He is a beautiful young male and I am certain he will be an impressive ambassador for his species,” said zoo chief Steffen Straede, according to CNN.
The new male is expected to form a breeding group with the zoo’s two 18-month-old females lucky enough to survive extermination. Zoo Chief Steffen Straede told CNN these three lions would “be the foundation of the zoo’s next lion era.”
In February, the zoo shot and dismembered its giraffe Marius, and then fed it to the lions in front of a group of visitors. The zoo said Marius was killed to prevent inbreeding, but the incident sparked wide public outrage.
The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria — a body governing 345 institutions — said that the Copenhagen Zoo had a right to “cull” the animals and has not broken its codes of conduct, reported CNN.
Watch the zoo butcher Marius in this video posted to YouTube by Reuters:
A man was mauled by two tigers at the zoo in 2012.