The title caught your attention did it? Of course it did. But actually it was nothing of the sort. Wellington Zoo has kindly euthanased a couple of their aged African Wild Dogs. The story has not caught the attention of the worlds press and I very much doubt that it will. There have been no more than a dozen articles and all were precise and to the point. There were regrets, sadness but a sensible recognition that quality of life was and is important.
I used the words 'Cruel' and 'Slaughter' because these are just two of the words used when Copenhagen zoo euthanased their surplus Giraffe and when Longleat Safari Park kindly culled their Lions. Words are what catches the readers attention and play upon their sensitivity.
Some may argue that the three incidents have no comparison.....but they do. It is all about management of animals in captivity. There was no cruelty involved in any of these animals being killed. They were all cared for, loved even.
There are some collections out there....and I won't mention any names....though I should, who who not have put these aged, arthritic dogs to sleep as the collection strove towards getting the 'oldest' record. That is plain wrong as I see it. Old or young, sick or healthy, Good Zoos need to manage species. Such management will be through a combination of breeding separation, contraception AND euthanasia. More people need to recognise that. Cruelty and Slaughter are not part of the equation.
You can read the real story here: