The Copenhagen zoo strikes again. Apart from the fact that I find this appalling, I also cannot share the justification that would support these murders.
Let us leave deontology aside for a moment and think utilitarian.
Let us say they had no other option than to take in the young newcomer. And let us say it was certain that he would kill all the others. Well, if that is the case, then why not try to save all the others by killing the young newcomer?
Gene variation they might answer. They want the females to reproduce again with someone else, and this would be anyway the natural process, “natural selection”. But how do they know that the other individuals were not better “equipped” in terms of genes? “Natural selection” knows best, they will argue. As if it is the absolute, it is the just, it gives us the best of possible worlds: Let us not intervene in natural selection. But wait a minute: isn’t the introduction of the new male lion in the zoo a decision made by humans in the first place? An intervention? How “natural” can all of this be? The humans had a choice to make. They killed 4 lions!
PS: Is it not the case that the Copenhagen zoo administration is deciding exactly what natural selection is and will do? Something which is inconsistent with the essence of natural selection itself?
PS2: So what will happen if -say- this new male lion behaves “unnaturally” and kills the remaining two females, instead of reproducing with them?
PS3: What if he proves impotent?
PS4: WHAT IF THE YOUNG MALE LION TURNS OUT TO BE GAY?
Copenhagen Zoo says it “had to euthanise” two cubs and their parents after it failed to re-home them.
The 16-year-old male and 14-year-old female were nearing the end of their natural lives in captivity, it added.
Last month, the zoo killed a healthy giraffe because it was deemed surplus to requirements.
“Because of the pride of lions’ natural structure and behaviour, the zoo has had to euthanise the two old lions and two young lions who were not old enough to fend for themselves,” the zoo said in a statement.
According to zookeepers, the male cub “would have been killed by the new male lion as soon as he got the chance.”
The zoo said it had asked other parks to take the 10-month-old cubs, but had received no offers.
The new male lion is due to arrive in the next few days and will be introduced to the zoo’s two female lions who, born in 2012, have reached breeding age. (BBC website)