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Would You Allow Your Kids to Watch a Live Animal Kill?

Posted by on Feb. 11, 2014 at 2:46 PM
  • 29 Replies

Zoo Kills Healthy Baby Giraffe & Feeds It to Lions While Kids Watch (VIDEO)

by Adriana Velez Yesterday at 1:32 PM

marius giraffeIf you and your kids have watched wild animal nature programs on TV, you've probably seen a predator chase, kill, and devour another animal. But TV is one thing -- what if you had the chance to let your child watch a lion devour a giraffe live and in person? A Danish zoo killed a giraffe and fed it to the lions, and it let the public watch the whole thing. And while seemingly half of Europe is furious over the killing of a 2-year-old giraffe in perfect health, I was stunned at this: They let people watch?!? Maybe I'm just a cold-hearted nerd, but that sounds like an amazing learning experience for the kids.

The question of whether or not the zoo should have killed the giraffe is a separate issue I'll let other people argue over. I think it's an excellent discussion topic for older kids. But what I'm wondering is whether or not I would take my own child to see it all happen. I've seen from the photos taken at the Copenhagen Zoo that kids were right there, watching it all.

My son is 10 years old, and he's definitely hip to the fact that some animals eat other animals -- in a more concrete way than a 6-year-old knows that. We eat meat, and we've talked about where that food comes from. He's seen me hack up a whole, raw chicken numerous times. So the idea of killing animals (especially for food) is not news to him.

I think if you treat the subject with some respect, it could be an incredible opportunity parents aren't likely to get any other way besides going on a safari. (A real one, not one of those pretend safaris in California.) You'd have to prepare for it and not just show up like some gawking looky-loo. I would want us to read up on how exactly the zoo planned to proceed and maybe a bit about the eating habits of lions in the wild vs. in captivity, the typical lifespan of a giraffe, things of that sort that would give the whole experience some context. And then we would discuss after what we thought and how we felt about the experience.

I think you'd also have to prepare your child emotionally. They may think they can handle it and then find it more traumatic than they expected. I think you'd have to be very careful about that.

Of course, all this depends on whether or not my son would actually want to witness it. And I'm not sure he would -- maybe, if he were a little older? I think he might be a little too tender still at this point. But every kid is different -- I think there probably are some tween-aged kids who might find the whole thing fascinating.

But even if he said "no way!" to watching a giraffe get killed, skinned, and fed to big cats (which I would completely understand), just having that conversation would be interesting.

Would you let your kid watch any part of a giraffe being killed and fed to lions if they wanted to see it?

by on Feb. 11, 2014 at 2:46 PM
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by Group Admin on Feb. 11, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Yes!  Inbreeding is dangerous.  It raises the chances of many genetic issues.  The giraffe couldn't be freed in the wildernesses of Africa where it would have become a quick and easy meal for wild lions.  Of course it needed to be put down.  There were lots of learning experiences there and i would surely allow my kids (even as young as they are) to watch it.  It looked like a pretty humane killing (if there is such a thing).

by on Feb. 11, 2014 at 3:14 PM
If they wanted to watch it I would but I would never force them to watch. I have a fox problem so chances are they are going to see an animal killed very soon when he comes back. :-( It is a part of life. I am unsure I would want to watch it but it would be a learning experience.
by on Feb. 11, 2014 at 3:16 PM

I would let my 10 yo watch it but not my 8 yo. I don't think my 8 yo could handle it. 

by on Feb. 11, 2014 at 3:22 PM

my kids watch us butcher pigs and chickens and then WE eat yeah i wouldnt have a problem with it.

by on Feb. 11, 2014 at 3:35 PM

 This is one of those gray arias where I just don't know how I feel about it! On the one hand I can see & understand why they did what they did but on the other there was a zoo willing & able to take him so he could live! I don't know what was right! I think if you had asked him he would have chosen life over death! There is also a whole world of difference between what happens in the wild & people playing God & deciding who lives & who dies at a zoo!

by on Feb. 11, 2014 at 3:55 PM
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No. There were other places that were willing to take the giraffe. I think what they did was disgusting.
by Member on Feb. 11, 2014 at 4:35 PM

No.  That would screw with my head, so I wouldn't be able to let them watch either... 

by on Feb. 11, 2014 at 4:38 PM
Never, I am so mad about this that I will not be renewing my zoo or aquarium memberships. Humans can be so cruel.
by on Feb. 11, 2014 at 5:35 PM

I would. I think its important for kids to see life and death. Its all part of life. 

by on Feb. 11, 2014 at 5:37 PM
Absolutely not.
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