Flashback to last year: It was like a nightmare brought to life. Children covered their mouths and turned away as a lion cub’s body was cut open and her intestines were laid out on a table before them. No, this wasn’t a Halloween movie—just business as usual at the Odense Zoo in central Denmark.
Reportedly, the Odense Zoo killed the female lion cub after zoo officials decided that she was “surplus” and no other zoos would take her. According to its website, the zoo kills animals to prevent inbreeding and acknowledges that zoo employees have been dissecting animals in front of crowds for 20 years. A spokesperson from the zoo told the BBC’s Newsbeat that this is a “normal process,” and while killing young animals may be normal for the zoos, it certainly isn’t normal for the animals. In the wild, the lion population and breeding would be controlled naturally, without human intervention.
This isn’t the first time that a Danish zoo has come under fire for killing a healthy animal and cutting him or her up in public. Last year, a giraffe named Marius was dissected in front of a crowd at the Copenhagen Zoo and fed to the lions after the zoo killed him with a bolt gunshot to the head. The zoo’s spokesperson said he was actually “proud” that the zoo dissected Marius.
— FRANCE 24 (@FRANCE24) October 8, 2015
Zoos teach people that it’s OK to interfere with animals’ lives and keep them locked up in captivity so we can gawk at them. And dissection doesn’t teach children ANYTHING. Instead, studies show that it actually fosters callousness toward animals and nature. In the wild, this lion cub would have been free to roam with her family, rather than being made the subject of a gruesome science “lesson.”
What You Can Do
If you are interested in animals, it’s only natural that you would want to be close to them—but animals shouldn’t have to live in misery because of our curiosity! Animals don’t belong to us, and they’re not ours to imprison in zoos or to kill and cut up for dissection. Say no to dissection and never visit any zoo.