Lessons to be learned?

Keri_J_Russell

As someone who is studying conservation, I found the news about the killing of the giraffe in Copenhagen and the lions in Longleat quite a depressing story.  Just like any member of the public, I felt saddened by these deaths, and as a scientist I wanted to know why there was the need to cull these creatures.

It was said that the giraffe was culled as he had reached 18 months old, and the zoo under guidance from the European Association of Zoo’s and Aquaria (EAZA) decided that culling was the only option as they wanted to avoid interbreeding at all costs.  This I can completely understand.  One doesn’t want to set out to conserve a species, and only serve to ensure the deleterious genes are represented by irresponsible breeding.  However, I would question why the animal was allowed to come into being in the first place.  If his genes…

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