Defiant Danish Zoo Dissects Lion

In spite of worldwide protests, today the Odense Zoo in central Denmark publicly dissected a young lion they had previously slaughtered. In fact, this animal was one of a family of three healthy lions they killed and froze. They justified their shocking behavior by calling the lions "surplus" to their captive menagerie.

They don't neuter or use birth control, claiming it is disruptive to the lions' natural behavior. Apparently keeping them imprisoned in zoos and butchering them does not interfere with their natural behavior.

In addition the zoo keepers justified the killings as they were afraid of inbreeding if the family of lions was kept together. I suppose it never occurred to them simply keep them in separate enclosures in their animal prison.

The zoo conducted this spectacle when very young school children were on holiday so they could watch the butchery and allegedly learn from it. They wanted to show the kiddies the anatomy of a lion. I assume most of us have never seen the internal organs of a lion, and I don't imagine it was high on the list of things kids need to know. The ugly truth is this desensitizes children to the sanctity of all life, and creates grotesque memories for them.

One Dane supporter is quoted as saying "Life isn't the Disney Channel. Get over it." In my world, I'll take Disneyland as more wholesome and memorable entertainment than the slaughter and dissection of innocent animals -- whose life and death is controlled by zoo wardens.

And then there is the infamous Copenhagen Zoo. In February of last year they shot a baby giraffe in the head, dissected it in front of the kids, and then fed it to the lions. It was among the lions' last meals. In spite of protests about the giraffe, the following month the zoo keepers again asserted their authority and killed a healthy lion family of four (parents and two cubs) to make room for another lion. They certainly showed the world who was in charge of that zoo.

Ironically, there are people and groups who have devoted their lives to rescuing, saving, and providing sanctuary to such magnificent animals. It would be a far better thing to provide financial support them and to boycott such zoos.

You be the judge as to the entertainment and educational value of this spectacle and of those conducting it. Please look at the face of the slaughtered animal and of the faces of children who were take there to see this.

"There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." -- Charles Darwin