Despite considerable protests, a Danish zoo has killed a two-year-old "surplus" giraffe called Marius, whose only crime was being in the wrong place (Copenhagen) at the wrong time (ever).

Warning, graphic image below.

News of Marius's impending execution by bolt gun prompted thousands to sign a petition in opposition, and members of the zoological community from around the world to offer to take him in, but the Danish zookeepers could not be dissuaded.

It's all part of the circle of life, they said. The completely natural circle of life in which giraffes live inside cages. Bengt Holst, the scientific director at the zoo said disposing of Marius was necessary because his genes were shit, and it wouldn't benefit the greater giraffe community to have him procreate.

"Giraffes today breed very well, and when they do you have to choose and make sure the ones you keep are the ones with the best genes," he told the BBC. They rejected offers to take Marius in from other zoos because the space should be used for "a genetically more important giraffe."

[Photo by Pedersen Rasmus Flindt/AP]