After the Copenhagen Zoo provoked international criticism when it killed a "surplus" giraffe named Marius and a lion family, the zoo announced that yet another giraffe -- a baby born just last week -- died on Sunday. The cause of death is still unknown, though the zoo said that an autopsy revealed no signs of infection or heart problems.
"All we know right now is that the animal has died," Zoo director Bengt Holst told Ekstra Bladet newspaper. "We have not found any physical damage or other abnormalities."
Holst added that the death of this giraffe and that of Marius are unrelated. "Mortality in animals will always be greatest just at birth," he said." The animals are weakest just after being born and leave the protection their mother's womb; there are many things that can go wrong."
When controversy erupted over Marius' impending euthanization, two other European zoos offered to accept him. But Copenhagen Zoo declined, saying that Marius' genes were already present in the genetic makeup of the captive population.