VIDEO: Action for Marius at Copenhagen Zoo

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The public killing of Marius, the 18-month-old giraffe, at Copenhagen Zoo on Sunday, which caused public outcry around the world, prompted PETA Germany to send its own message to the zoo’s managers.

The group projected this enormous message in lights at the entrance to the zoo last night:

Zoos are Animal Prisons. You paid for the ticket, Marius paid with his life.

Marius’ death should be a wake-up call for anyone who still harbours the illusion that zoos serve any purpose beyond incarcerating intelligent animals for profit. What happened in Copenhagen this weekend shocked the world – but zoos around the world quietly kill “surplus” animals all the time, while the animals that are kept alive are out of place and miserable, denied their freedom and everything that’s natural to them.

Read PETA’s full statement on Marius’ death here.

What You Can Do

The best way to help animals like Marius is to stay away from all zoos, and to help spread the word about the shocking practices that happen in them.

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  • Gillian commented on February 12, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Gillian Gardner

  • anna commented on February 12, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I’ll never understand why they did kill Marius. Someone had to stop cruelty.
    Zoo supposed to be an nice oasis for animals .
    not slaughterhouse!
    I’m sick (sad) of what happened.
    Marius had a right to life as any of us. : (

    • Marion Friedl commented on February 12, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      I can only agree with you! Zoo directors always tell that they save animals, not only from endangeroused breeds!!! The worst is that 2 zoos and a private man wanted to buy Marius from the Kopenhagen Zoo, but that didn´t bother Mr. Bengt Holst at all!!!
      I think he only wanted to have cheap meat for the lions…

    • Rosemarie Blume commented on February 12, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      I think Mr Holst had better check his genetic makeup. I bet it goes back to Munich in the 1930s.

  • Josephine White commented on February 12, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    The man should be sacked and the rest of the staff at this zoo and all zoos should be investigated.

  • Jan West-Hansen commented on February 12, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    I absolutely do not understand your reaction. What kind of Disney World are you all living in? Don’t you all eat meat? If so, where do you think that comes from? What do you think is happening in the “real world” called nature? Do you think brotherly love exists there? The Zoo as a “nice oasis for animals”? “Marius had a right to life as any of us”? What kind of romantic statements is that? The Zoo is not an oasis. Get real about this thing called “life”! There was no cruelty involved here.

    • Donna Graves commented on February 14, 2014 at 6:16 pm

      You are obviously a complete IDIOT! Peta and it’s members, such as myself, believe in a vegan lifestyle. Of course we don’t eat meat. How can you be so ignorant? What kind of illiterate world do you live in?
      Since you think” no cruelty was involved” I guess you won’t mind that I sincerely hope someone gives YOU a boltshot to the head and feeds you to lions- then you will be in hell and reaping the karma you so deserve. I hope it happens soon, the world will be better off without you.

    • CindyH commented on February 15, 2014 at 5:36 am

      West-Hausen you are obviously a diluted idiot as well as a complete idiot because if you think for one minute the general public (vegan or not) would ever embrace such a cruel display of heartlessness toward an innocent living creature; then you’re only fooling yourselves into believing that such a barbaric & heartless act would EVER be accepted. Even the media (American & European included) who are supposed to report events in a fair and unbiased way, couldn’t and can’t hold back their disgust.

      And it is you, the zoo officials and anyone else who promoted this atrocity, who are living in Disney World if you thought for one milli-second that such an act would EVER be accepted by the general public. And do you know what the other sad reality is for the Danish nation, it’s zoo and anything Danish? We the general public will be doing whatever it takes to spread the word, Petition them to death, boycott anything Danish and ask our respective governments to establish economic sanctions until drastic changes are made. As for me I’ve cancelled a planned trip to Denmark and will applaud anyone who does likewise.

      Donna please be comforted to know I truly believe that God has reserved a special place in Hell for those responsible for this act and that Marius is with God’s heavenly Angels – see these versus:

      Proverbs 12:10 – whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.

      Ecclesiastes 3:19 – For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.

    • Uliana commented on February 16, 2014 at 12:24 am

      I dont think you live in reality, either. The reality is, millions of people stop eating meat and wearing fur… It is time for you to wake up to face a new reality, your views are obsolete…

    • Donna Graves commented on February 17, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      To Uliana
      I am not sure what you are trying to say? Millions of people HAVE stopped eating meat and wearing fur, in part because of PETA’s efforts to inform and educate the general public. ( I suspect you would benefit from educating and informing yourself ) But if what you are saying is our views are “obsolete” because people still wear fur and eat meat- we actually face that reality head on, by trying to educate those that do. It is my hope that someday our views are obsolete, but that will only be, if and when the entire world realizes that animals are not ours, to eat, or wear, or torture.
      From your post, I don’t I know where you stand- I hope it is on the side of compassion.

    • Dave and Rita Cross commented on February 26, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      We are so sorry you feel the way you do! If we accepted all the negatives in the world as “the way it is”, we would indeed be doomed! However, there are tens of millions of people who have compassion and respect for animals! They work tirelessly to make a difference for the welfare of animals, and we applaud them daily! I work from my computer each day to do what I can to make the lives of animals better! And, we have all come a long, long way! Many improvements have taken place and there are more happening as we speak and well in to the future! The donations from caring people around the world, along with those in the field to help animals, are making a huge difference in animal welfare! And it will never stop!

  • T. Bintijuwa commented on February 12, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I stumbled upon this on a website, (I do not have “pay” tv) and was immediately incensed! I don’t even know where or how to begin my rant…………Ok, so you don’t want to breed him and possibly pass on “undesired” genetics……ever heard of STERILIZATION??? Hell, they do it to women right here in the good ole US of A…..often without their permission or knowledge. So, at the very least, they could have done a simple snip-snip. Then there’s sanctuaries (or other prisons)……oops, I mean zoos, that would have taken him.
    It’s almost as if Marius was being Punished because zoo management didn’t know what to do with him…..poor guy
    But, the worse part of this is the sickening public execution…..right in front of the kids!!! WTF??? To pull a “Jeffrey Dahmer” right in front of them and toss his remains to the lions? That took the efforts of some sick (bordering on diabolical) minds.
    I’m with the previous poster: I won’t be going to Denmark; won’t be purchasing products from there, etc. But, unless there is a total upheaval of their zoo (animal prison) system, this will continue to happen. One more sad thing: this probably happens way more frequently than we could ever imagine…….this one just happened to make the news.

    Signed: a very disgusted 42 year-long vegan!!

    • Kalliopi Mangou commented on February 13, 2014 at 9:48 am

      Couldn’t Agree More With You…The Fkng Danes Are Sick..

    • CindyH commented on February 14, 2014 at 6:58 pm

      Hitler did this to an entire population of what he considered to be a sub-set of the human race and the Danish are no better toward animals. They are an evil and perverted culture and just like WW2 had to shut Hitler down so must we and the only way to wage such a war against such attrocities is to do so where it will hurt them the most – their pocketbooks. I’m talking about economic sanctions (so write your government); boycotting travel, don’t buy Danish and keep screaming about this online (post, sign petitions, etc) and do so for as long as it takes.

      I would also like to see all of PETA (national & international) doing a more proactive job about getting the word out. This act has outraged way too many people from a very diverse walk of life and just like the civil rights movement and more recently gay rights, this could be the beginning stepping stone to end all animal abuses.

  • Marion Friedl commented on February 12, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    I´d never visit a zoo, a circus or something like sea world! Animals don´t belong in captivity!!!

  • Rosemarie Blume commented on February 12, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    iI still am grossly upset by what happen to Markus. Do the Danes do this to all living creatures who are surplus? But they still pay for their Royal family! And, to allow chilrden to watch so they can better understand the anaatomy of a Giraffe. Do these parents allow their children to go to the morgue to witness an autopsy so they can learn the anatomy of their fellow humans. OMG i thought Hilter was dead – i believe he still lives in Denmark. After all the country that pioneered sex change operations could not figure out how to castrate a giraffe.

  • Rosemarie Blume commented on February 12, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Oh yes! They say they could not anesthetize Marcus to castrate him because he might not be able to get up post surgery. Did the Danes ever hear of slings used on horses who need leg surgery to keep them in an upright position during treatment? Markus was born male two years ago. When he was little, surgery would have been simple. Or, did the zoo not bother to address this issue until now. BAN the zoo!

  • Rosslyn Murr commented on February 13, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Some zoos sell their baby animals to the circus, so it’s a vicious never ending cycle of suffering for these poor animals.

    Marius was murdered because he didn’t have any “interesting genes” for breeding. Please stop this torture, we are supposed to be civilized now and this should end!!

  • Joe commented on February 13, 2014 at 5:58 am
  • Caroline commented on February 13, 2014 at 7:51 am

    this is absolutely disgusting. people are so selfish to think that we have the right to kill these innocent and helpless animals. they share this world just like we do. No animal is more dangerous than humans.

  • danna commented on February 13, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Thank you PETA for your voice. i cried when i seen what you did. please keep fighting for the animals.

  • Jay Kaplan commented on February 13, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    This was a disgusting display of cruelty and stupidity. The person who made that horrible decision to kill an innocent giraffe has no business working at a zoo. Obviously, he has no concern for animals, and he views animals as merchandise. People who have jurisdiction over animals must be animal lovers, not incompetent morons. I hope this guy gets his.

  • Steven kaplan commented on February 13, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    I am a Vegetarian, but I am not perfect and am no saint. I spent many years as a meat eater before realizing that I and the animals that I was eating would all fare much better if I changed my ways! My discovery was largely due to discovering the actions of world peacemakers such as: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Ghandi, and especially Dr. Albert Schweitzer. The latter was the greatest influence with his philosophy of “Reverence For All Life”. This philosophy for him meant that at his hospital in Lambarene, West Africa, he would not even permit killing the Tse-Tse Flies that carried Yellow Fever microbes, preferring to retreat patients for the disease. Yes, that was an example of extreme application. But if we all revered life in this way as a moral imperative, there would no longer be war, nor examples on Youtuube of Muslims beheading rebels! and thus, there would be no more Zoos nor exploitation and cruelty to animals such as Marius! The world needs to follow Schweitzer’s lead, and especially Mr. holst who did not revere life but rather took the expedient and cruel alternative to the humane alternatives at his disposal. If the country of Denmark wants to retain its humanitarian reputation earned during WW Ii, then it need to actively prevent such atrocities from being repeated, and punish those responsible!

  • Steven Kaplan commented on February 13, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Thank You, PETA for giving us (the distressed) the format for expressing our outrage! I am a proud PETA member! Keep advocating for the animals! What kind of immorality perpetuates such a crime in front of unsuspecting children in the name of education?! I am a public educator! I would never have my children educated in Denmark!

  • Stacy Bernheisel commented on February 13, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Heartbreaking and disgusting:( I hope that you are resting with the angels sweet Marius . To every person involved in this – I pray that that you never do. This practice is wrong and you know it. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t do this in private behind closed doors . Shame on you .

  • Chop commented on February 14, 2014 at 2:35 am

    I don’t think PETA understands, or even bothered to attempt to understand, the goal of the zoo’s breeding program. If you’re so set in one way of belief or thought it is impossible for you to see the other side of the story.

    There is plenty examples of animals SAVED from extinction by zoos. The California condor comes to mind, among others.

    • Sam Meyers commented on February 14, 2014 at 11:00 pm

      Oh I think anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together knows exacctly what this zoo’s intentions are. Marius was delibrately bred to draw in the crowds. Once he grew bigger and interest waned, they decided he was flawed and “not valuable enough” to warrant the room he was taking up so they disposed of him. This particular zoo has a history of doing just this with their animals; they are deliberately bred, even though they do not have the room, the babies draw in the crowds and then the animals are killed. Holst lied on NPR about Marius, saying they had not received an offer to rehome him by any EAZA zoos but they had – Yorkshire Wildlife Sanctuary, where Marius’ brother lives, had offered. Conservationsists and some other zoos have slammed Copenhagen – this behaviour is abhorent and Holst is a psychopathic control freak. He needs to be removed from his position. My preference would be by use of a bolt gun. In front of a crowd. Whilst being given his favourite treat. RIP Marius.

    • Beretta commented on February 15, 2014 at 12:15 am

      Chop are you a retard? They were offered 700,000 dollars to sell the animal to a good home and they chose to murder a 2 yr old creature for pleasure. They other side of the story is to do anything in your power to avoid this despicable act.

  • Grant Bowman commented on February 14, 2014 at 6:38 am

    I felt physically ill when I read and saw the pictures of what they did to this poor giraffe. Shame on those bastards shame

  • Olivia Kossuth commented on February 14, 2014 at 6:44 pm


  • val parks commented on February 15, 2014 at 2:15 am

    This has got to be the most close minded group I ever seen.the word
    Radicals comes to mind when I see people lurking in bushes with cameras,
    Trespassing on private property are just some of the craziness I have seen on this site.
    Most zoo’s are run by people whom love and devote their lives to animals.
    Zoo’s have saved entire species of animals that you all love so much.And
    Many take in animals that would be otherwise euthenized. You people see only
    Black and white there are shades of gray in everything.
    People have been eating meat since the dawn of time. They are here for a reason
    Do you hate your beloved lions? Tigers? Or other carniverois animals that
    Run down and kill other animals ? Its what they and we are meant to do !

    • Donna Graves commented on February 17, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      Your post is too stupid to even warrant a response. Anyone who thinks zoo’s have “saved entire species” is completely ignorant.
      The only shades of grey ( and black ) here is in your soul, if indeed you have one. You honestly think ” we are here to eat animals” ? You are sick- please kill yourself soon, the world needs to be rid of people like you.
      You are truly disgusting, and I am sure a big fat pig from all the rotting flesh you stuff yourself with. Please die.

  • Roberta commented on February 16, 2014 at 1:23 am


  • Tyler Leas commented on February 17, 2014 at 5:05 am

    Why is this tragic? None of us would be here if we didn’t kill animals at some point in our history. Marius was butchered, so it’s not like he went to waste. Like the sheep ads…. Ugg boots… Sheep are raised for meat + wool. If we didn’t use the skin for whatever it would be thrown out. Now that’s tragic.

  • Tyler Leas commented on February 17, 2014 at 5:07 am

    CindyH you forgot to mention that animals do not have spirits and all end up being thrown in the fire. And how is being shot in the head cruel?

    • CindyH74 commented on February 24, 2014 at 4:34 am

      Tyler Leas please put your money where your mouth is and give me (us) credible citations for your statements?

  • Donna Graves commented on February 17, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Why do you think you are the judge and jury? Animals have more soul than you do. You are a waste of human skin, and since you don’t think it is cruel, I hope someone shoots you in the head. Enjoy the hell you deserve, and I hope it is soon. You disgust me. I think there is a good reason you’ve never had a girlfriend.

    • Anonymous commented on June 30, 2014 at 12:54 pm


      Your personal attacks on the people who make these comments is bullying and considered trolling in the online atmosphere.

      Despite their views and their contrast to yours, telling someone to “please die” and “enjoy the hell you deserve” is completely unacceptablenand also irrelevant to the point of the article above.

      Please keep your negative input to yourself.

  • Nikolay Moltchanoph commented on February 27, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    This is barbarism at its worst! The fascism as it is!

  • Elizabeth Evans commented on February 28, 2014 at 10:04 am

    It’s cruel and senseless what they did to Marius. I think, looking at recent u-tube clips that we all have to work hard to stop the overall cruelty in this world. I’m so glad that people have responded as a mark of respect for Marius but recently, seeing poor cows brought halfway around the world only to be hung up by one leg, only to have their throats cut without being stunned first in front of each other brought floods of tears.
    I love all animals, and don’t want to see any killed!

  • Stacey commented on March 6, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    The animal had not hurt any one. He hardly had a chance at life. They had no write to kill him. I am sure there were other places that would have taken him. I don’t understand why they did this.

  • Olivia commented on March 27, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    At the present humanity does not deserve to live on Earth. Look at the mess, the pain, the chaos

  • The Lion King commented on May 17, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Special message to the human species:

    Humans, you have failed to understand that all the members of my animal kingdom know, feel, love and hurt. You must teach everyone that. They know when they are locked up but they can not speak your language to tell you that.

    Look into their eyes and you will see.

    The members of my animal kingdom respected humans for their achievements, and we are tried to live together and show to you that we also feel and understand and love, but you have failed.

    The manner how you are torturing all the animals disgusts me.

    I do not think you deserve to be called a human. If you are called a human then you have responsibility, responsibility to be humane. You turned out to be just another savage.

    I will instruct the members of my animal kingdom to share their love and trust with only those humans who respect all the animals, who help animals and prevents their abuse.

    Fight for the silent.

    The Lion King.

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