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A Danish Zoo Publicly Dissected a Dead Lion, You Know, for Kids

The controversial dissection enraged animal rights groups.

by Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox
Oct 15 2015, 5:15pm

Read: Turns Out It Was Legal for that Dentist to Shoot Cecil the Lion

A Danish zoo's plan to dissect a lioness live on television enraged animal rights groups, but ultimately went ahead on Thursday.

The lion was put down nine months ago due to an excess of female lions, and the dissection date was chosen specifically to coincide with school holidays, so children could attend. (This same zoo dissected a giraffe named Marius in 2014 because the animal was considered genetically unsuitable for reproduction.)

Denmark's pragmatic stance on showing kids what's inside animals has been internationally criticized for being insensitive, as no other options were considered before putting down the animals. Denmark's position on animal rights is considered to be utilitarian, to say the least: Kids visit slaughterhouses on school trips, and the country is famous for it's annual whaling tradition in the Faroe islands.

Dozens of children witnessed Thursday event, which was also livestreamed online so we could all watch from our desks without having to worry about the dead lion's smell. One girl told NBC that she "thought it as a bit weird at first because I had not been told whether it was dead or not."