Do they really believe that it’s a kind of education? If these are “Western values”, they are awful.
Originally appeared at Dailymail
A Danish zoo has today staged a controversial dissection of a lion in front of a crowd of schoolchildren.
Crowds gathered at Odense Zoo in central Denmark to attend the display which organisers said was held for educational purposes.
The dissection of the animal, which was put down nine months ago because the herd was too big, was streamed live today.
Many of the children watching held their noses and gasped as the inside of the lion was examined by experts.
Children and adults alike held their noses and gasped as experts carried out the live dissection today:
A child holds her nose as experts show the crowds the insides of the lion. The animal was put down nine months ago because the zoo’s herd was too big:
It comes a year after a similar event involving a giraffe at a different zoo led to international outrage and staff receiving threats.
But Michael Wallberg Sorensen, a zookeeper at Odense Zoo, defended the decision to dissect the lion, which has been kept in a freezer since it was put down.
He said: ‘The reason we are dissecting it is that we believe there is a lot of education involved in dissecting a lion.’
The timing coincides with Denmark’s autumn school break, and it will take place in front of a crowd that is expected to include children as well as adults.
‘Although we are in contact with a lot of other zoos and try to relocate them, we can get a surplus,’ Sorensen said, explaining the reason why it was put down.
The zoo has performed public dissections of lions in the past without prompting any negative reactions, he added.
Visitors are mostly ‘really interested in it and find it interesting to see a lion that up close,’ he said.
Doctor Pieter Kat, of LionAid, said: ‘European zoos continue breeding programmes for lions, with no conservation benefit. As a result, zoos end up with more animals than they can handle.’
A Copenhagen zoo prompted a storm of criticism in February last year for putting down a healthy giraffe and dissecting it in front of children.
The zoo’s scientific director received death threats after Marius, a healthy 18-month-old giraffe, was put down despite numerous offers for him to be rehoused and thousands signing an online petition to save him.
After the dissection the animal’s meat was fed to lions.
In Denmark, where farming is an important part of the economy, schoolchildren sometimes visit slaughterhouses on tours that include watching pigs on the slaughter line.
Many Danes were surprised and even angered by what has been dubbed Marius-gate, and the Copenhagen Zoo’s scientific director Bengt Holst was among those decrying the ‘Disney story’ shaping many people’s view of zoo creatures.