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Russian zoos worried about giraffe Marius’ plight but have no room for him

February 13, 2014, 18:58 UTC+3 YAROSLAVL

The zoo in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg has been seeking to acquire a giraffe for a long time but can’t afford it for the lack of space

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YAROSLAVL, February 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian zoos are worried about the plight of seven-year-old giraffe Marius in the Danish city of Videbek, who is likely to share the fate of his namesake from Copenhagen killed several days ago for being unsuitable for breeding, but have no room to accommodate him.

The zoo in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg has been seeking to acquire a giraffe for a long time but can’t afford it for the lack of space.

“We have long been dreaming about a giraffe enclosure. We would be happy to take on Marius, but we have no room to build an enclosure for him so that he could feel at home here,” the zoo’s spokesperson Ksenia Ivanova told ITAR-TASS on Thursday, February 13.

She said the zoo personnel were saddened by the news that Marius the giraffe in Denmark could be killed soon. “We do not share such principles of handling animals,” the press service of the Moscow Zoo said.

The spokesperson said the zoo had three giraffes and could not afford a fourth one.

The zoo in Yekaterinburg is one of the biggest in Russia by the number of animals it has but, at the same time, the smallest one among municipal zoos in the country. “We have a very compact zoo, children can walk around it without getting tired, and foreigners are surprised to see such a variety of animals,” the spokesperson said.

The Yaroslavl Zoo has no proper conditions for the giraffe either. “The Yaroslavl Zoo would like to give shelter to Marius from the Danish zoo but can’t do it because it cannot create proper conditions for him,” the zoo’s spokesperson Nazyrkul Dautkulov told ITAR-TASS. “We are not prepared to accept the giraffe. He needs special conditions, which we cannot provide. The giraffe is a very special animal both in terms of keeping and feeding. Taking an animal only to make it suffer is not our concept,” he said.

Dautkulov said he could not believe that the Danish colleagues had simply decided to kill the giraffe. “This is unacceptable. Animals have long been swapped between different zoos, and I can’t understand why they did not do it this time but made a show out of it [of killing the giraffe],” he said.

Eighteen-month-old giraffe Marius was killed in Copenhagen’s zoon last week to avoid inbreeding despite numerous public protests. More than 27,000 people around the world had signed a petition for the protection of Marius, but the young and healthy animal was shot dead, dissected and fed to lions.

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