Ignoring thousands of pleas for clemency, at least two wildlife parks that wanted to re-home him and an offer of £415,000 from a wealthy benefactor, Copenhagen Zoo went ahead with the killing of Marius the giraffe on Sunday morning.
After a bolt gun to the head, he was dissected publicly in front of a crowd of children then fed to the lions.
It was a bold statement of just how confident the zoo was in its decision to kill a perfectly healthy animal after less than two years of life.
The reason — his genes were too similar to other giraffes in a breeding programme run by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) – failed to convince furious animal rights campaigners and the zoo was deluged with complaints on social media. . .