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Copenhagen Zoo staff members receive death threats after giraffe is killed and fed to lions

Officials at the Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark say they received death threats after the zoo killed a 2-year-old giraffe and fed its remains to lions.

Zoo spokesman Tobias Stenbaek Bro said Monday that he and the zoo's scientific director, Bengt Holst, received several threats over the telephone and in emails. They quoted one email as saying: "The children of the staff of Copenhagen Zoo should all be killed or should get cancer."

The giraffe, Marius, was killed Sunday using a bolt pistol, then skinned and fed to lions in front of visitors, including children.

The killing triggered a wave of online protests and debate about zoo conditions.

The zoo said it killed Marius to prevent inbreeding, and it defended the public feeding as a display of scientific knowledge about animals.