RICHARD ORD: Zoo that’s not afraid to stick its neck out

Giraffe

Giraffe

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THERE was much outrage across the world this week after a Danish zoo shot one of its giraffes dead.

As a crowd-puller for the zoo, even I could appreciate, it probably wasn’t going to be a winner.

They went one better than that at Copenhagen Zoo, however, by then publicly skinning the creature (after it was dead), chopping up the body parts and feeding them to the lions.

I’m not sure who’s running the public relations department at Copenhagen Zoo, but they may want to give themselves a shake. What’s their next big PR idea, a log flume at Auschwitz?

The giraffe had to be put down, the zoo tells us, because it had the wrong genes.

Castration was an option (for the giraffe, not the PR department – though it’s a thought) but was considered ‘cruel’.

Releasing the animal into the wild was, they thought, ‘unlikely’ to be successful.

A public evisceration before being eaten by lions!! That’s a funny idea of success if you ask me … and I’m sure many giraffes would share my viewpoint.

Our relationship with animals is a peculiar one.

I’ll wager a warthog would not have garnered as much sympathy. There aren’t that many doe-eyed warthogs about.

My wife is forever threatening to give away the rabbit we keep in a hutch in the back garden (note – going from doe-eyed warthogs to my wife in two sentences is not the best idea, given it’s Valentine’s Day, but stay with me).

Our two boys lost interest in looking after the rabbit about, ooh, two hours after we got him.

When they realised it couldn’t fetch balls or roll over on command, they moved on.

Yet whenever their Granddad threatens to skin poor Rockta (for that is his name) and put him in a pie, there is outrage from the boys.

The mere thought of eating poor Rockta is almost enough to put them off their pasties.

I say almost, because they love their pasties, and sausages, and McDonald’s Big Macs.

The link between killing animals and the food they eat does not compute.

It is the reason why, to a certain extent, I admire Copenhagen Zoo for not hiding away.

Nothing went to waste with the death of Marius the giraffe.

The creature was humanely put down, the public dissection was an educational project to help children understand the anatomy of animals, and the lions got their lunch. Everyone’s a winner.

Had the zoo-keepers turned up to work the following day in giraffe-skin waistcoats, I’d have had to salute them. Thankfully, even their PR department baulked at that one.

As a lesson in food chains and the peculiar relationship we have with animals, the fate of poor Marius is an object one, I’ll be sharing with my kids … next time we’re in McDonald’s.

* As footnote, a Danish promoter revealed that he had a billionaire financier who was willing to pay more than a million pounds to save the giraffe, but the zoo said it had a strict policy of ‘not selling animals’. At this point I feel it is important to stress that the Ord household has no such policy.

Up, up and Ha’way!

GREAT to see all the hard-drinking, sorry, hard work of Geordie Shore star Charlotte Crosby is paying off.

The former Sunderland barmaid has landed herself her own TV show, in which she is flown around the world to experience different cultures and meet extraordinary people before, I assume, belching in their faces.

The format of the show is unclear, but judging by her first tweet on the matter I suspect it will not tax the brain too much.

After being told she will be flying out to the sprawling metropolis that is Tokyo, in Japan, she responded: “OMG, I can’t believe I’m going to China.”

Hmm, I suspect The Bafta judges will not be losing too much sleep over this one.

As a crowd-puller for the zoo, even I could appreciate, it probably wasn’t going to be a winner.

Charlotte Crosby.

Charlotte Crosby.

They went one better than that at Copenhagen Zoo, however, by then publicly skinning the creature (after it was dead), chopping up the body parts and feeding them to the lions.

I’m not sure who’s running the public relations department at Copenhagen Zoo, but they may want to give themselves a shake. What’s their next big PR idea, a log flume at Auschwitz?

The giraffe had to be put down, the zoo tells us, because it had the wrong genes.

Castration was an option (for the giraffe, not the PR department – though it’s a thought) but was considered ‘cruel’.

Releasing the animal into the wild was, they thought, ‘unlikely’ to be successful.

A public evisceration before being eaten by lions!! That’s a funny idea of success if you ask me … and I’m sure many giraffes would share my viewpoint.

Our relationship with animals is a peculiar one.

I’ll wager a warthog would not have garnered as much sympathy. There aren’t that many doe-eyed warthogs about.

My wife is forever threatening to give away the rabbit we keep in a hutch in the back garden (note – going from doe-eyed warthogs to my wife in two sentences is not the best idea, given it’s Valentine’s Day, but stay with me).

Our two boys lost interest in looking after the rabbit about, ooh, two hours after we got him.

When they realised it couldn’t fetch balls or roll over on command, they moved on.

Yet whenever their Granddad threatens to skin poor Rockta (for that is his name) and put him in a pie, there is outrage from the boys.

The mere thought of eating poor Rockta is almost enough to put them off their pasties.

I say almost, because they love their pasties, and sausages, and McDonald’s Big Macs.

The link between killing animals and the food they eat does not compute.

It is the reason why, to a certain extent, I admire Copenhagen Zoo for not hiding away.

Nothing went to waste with the death of Marius the giraffe.

The creature was humanely put down, the public dissection was an educational project to help children understand the anatomy of animals, and the lions got their lunch. Everyone’s a winner.

Had the zoo-keepers turned up to work the following day in giraffe-skin waistcoats, I’d have had to salute them. Thankfully, even their PR department baulked at that one.

As a lesson in food chains and the peculiar relationship we have with animals, the fate of poor Marius is an object one, I’ll be sharing with my kids … next time we’re in McDonald’s.

l As footnote, a Danish promoter revealed that he had a billionaire financier who was willing to pay more than a million pounds to save the giraffe, but the zoo said it had a strict policy of ‘not selling animals’. At this point I feel it is important to stress that the Ord household has no such policy.