The killing of Marius, a young and healthy giraffe at the Copenhagen Zoo, has resulted in a good deal of press about the ways in which zoos deal with what they call "surplus animals". It also has been responsible for motivating many people to speak out against this most inhumane practice. I call this "The Marius Effect" (see also) and the killing of these animals "zoothanasia" not euthanasia, or what zoos call "management euthanasia", which is mercy-killing those animals who are in interminable pain or mortally ill. These animals are healthy beings who do not have to be killed!
While some claim that killing animals like Marius because they are useless to a zoo's breeding program only occurs very rarely, this is not the case according to a recent essay by Hannah Barnes called "How many healthy animals do zoos put down?" published in BBC News Magazine. And, not only are the facts rather startling and disturbing, so is the language that zoo administrators and others use to refer to the animals themselves.