- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A zoo in Denmark that sparked international outrage by euthanizing a healthy giraffe has killed two female lions and their two young cubs to make space for a new male.

“Because of the pride of lions’ natural structure and behavior, the zoo has had to euthanize the two old lions and two young lions who were not old enough to fend for themselves,” Copenhagen Zoo said in a statement, the Agence France-Presse reported.

The four lions were put down on Monday after the zoo had failed to find a new home for them, a spokesman told AFP.

The new male lion will soon be introduced to the zoo’s two females that have reached breeding age.

“The zoo is recognized worldwide for our work with lions, and I am proud that one of the zoo’s own brood now forms the centre of a new pride of lions,” chief executive Steffen Straede said.

The carcass of Marius, a male giraffe, is eaten by lions after he was put down in Copenhagen Zoo on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014. Copenhagen Zoo turned down offers from other zoos and 500,000 euros ($680,000) from a private individual to save the life of a healthy giraffe before killing and slaughtering it Sunday to follow inbreeding recommendations made by a European association. The 2-year-old male giraffe, named Marius, was put down using a bolt pistol and its meat will be fed to carnivores at the zoo, spokesman Tobias Stenbaek Bro said. Visitors, including children, were invited to watch while the giraffe was dissected. (AP Photo/POLFOTO, Rasmus Flindt Pedersen)  DENMARK OUT
The carcass of Marius, a male giraffe, is eaten by lions after ... more >

The zoo was widely criticized last month and Bengt Holst, director of the zoo’s research and conservation, even received death threats for the decision to kill its 18-month-old giraffe Marius.

Marius was shot with a rifle as he munched away on rye bread. Children and families were then able to watch the giraffe get dissected, dismembered and fed to the zoo’s lions, tigers and leopards.

The zoo does not plan to publicly dissect any of the lions killed Monday, AFP reported.