Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s bid to save an 18-month-old giraffe from destruction at a Copenhagen zoo has failed.
Thousands of people had signed an online petitions in a bid to save Marius but he was killed earlier this morning.
Staff at the Doncaster based park had offered to rehome him.
But the zoo in Copenhagen said it had no choice but to put him down because of European rules to avoid in-breeding.
The Copenhagen zoo planned to dissect the animal after it was killed, before feeding it to the other animals.
A statement from YWP said: “Yorkshire Wildlife Park is saddened to hear reports from Copenhagen that 18 month old giraffe Marius has been euthansed.
“When news of the plan was revealed on Saturday YWP immediately contacted Copenhagen Zoo via YWP’s Head of Hoofstock who is Danish and explained to the zoo why the Park urgently wished to speak to the zoo and requested a call to confirm the situation regarding the giraffe.
“YWP has a state of the art giraffe house built in 2012 with a bachelor herd of 4 male giraffes and the capacity to take an extra male, subject to the agreement of the European stud book keeper. One of the YWP giraffes is Palle, who came from Copenhagen Zoo in September 2012, when he was the same age as Marius.
“YWP did not hear back from the zoo, but on Saturday night YWP was contacted by the Danish press and the BBC and asked if they could confirm that they had made an offer to rehome Marius. YWP confirmed that they had contacted the zoo but had not heard back.
YWP has now seen press reports that Copenhagen has euthanased Marius. Without knowing the full details it would be inappropriate to comment further.”