After giraffe uproar, Copenhagen zoo kills 4 lions

After giraffe uproar, Copenhagen zoo kills 4 lions

Credit: Getty Images

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - MARCH 26 : This file photo dated 09/02/2014 shows members of the lion family in a Danish zoo. Danish zoo killed two old lions and two cubs lions to make room for a new male lion in Copenhagen, Denmark on March 26, 2014. The same zoo killed Marius the giraffe on February, 2014. Irfan Cemiloglu / Anadolu Agency

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Associated Press

Posted on March 25, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 27 at 6:47 AM

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A Danish zoo that faced protests for killing a healthy giraffe to prevent inbreeding says it has put down four lions, including two cubs, to make room for a new male lion.

Citing the "pride's natural structure and behavior," the Copenhagen Zoo said Tuesday that two old lions had been euthanized as part of a generational shift. It said the cubs were also put down because they were not old enough to fend for themselves and "anyway would have been killed by the new male lion."

Zoo officials hope the new male and two females born in 2012 will form the nucleus of a new pride.

Last month the zoo triggered a wave of protests by killing a 2-year-old giraffe, and feeding its remains to the lions as visitors watched.

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