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Russian tiger tamer asks Danish ambassador to help save giraffe Marius

February 14, 2014, 20:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW

“The life of this animal is in danger, and we want to save him,” Edgard Zapashny said

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© EPA/Keld navntoft

MOSCOW, February 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian acclaimed tiger tamer Edgard Zapashny, who is also director of the Big Moscow Circus, has sent on Friday an official letter to the Danish ambassador to Russia asking him to help organize negotiations with the Videbek zoo to save giraffe Marius, who is likely to share the fate of his namesake from Copenhagen killed several days ago for being unsuitable for breeding. In another letter addressed to the Danish zoo, Zapashny offered to buy out the animal and pay all the fees for his transportation to Moscow.

“The life of this animal is in danger, and we want to save him,” Zapashny told Itar-Tass. “If the managers of the Danish zoo answer in the positive, we will buy the giraffe out, take him to Russia, where he will undergo medical examination and placed in normal conditions.”

Despite the fact that giraffes are tamable animals, Zapahsny said he did not plan to engage Marius in his famous circus. “We are not planning to tame Marius, we want to hand him over to a Russian zoo, where he would be kept in good conditions,” he said. “He is a grownup, mature animal, who is not accustomed to close communication with humans, so his further life is possibly only at a zoo.”

“This is what I want to tell all animal right advocates: stop babbling, it is necessary to do something real for a particular animal, whose life is in danger,” he stressed. “They did nothing to save the first giraffe and now they are doing nothing to save the second one. Me and my brother (Askold Zapashny) offer money to save the animal and have him transported to Russia. Whatever the giraffe does later, the main thing is that he will be alive.”

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

The same fate is looming over another giraffe in the Videbek zoo. Currently, the zoo has two male giraffes, one of whom is nicknamed Marius, too. The zoo joined the European animal reproduction program and soon it to welcome a female giraffe. So, according to the zoo’s animal attendants, one of these giraffes — seven-year-old Marius — is likely to share the fate of his ill-fated namesake from Copenhagen.

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