Saturday 20 December 2014

Paddy Power opens bets on which animal is likely to be killed next at Copenhagen Zoo

Heather Saul

Published 27/03/2014 | 16:44

A lion and her cubs enter a lion enclosure for the first time in Copenhagen Zoo in this July 17, 2013 file photograph provided by Scanpix. Copenhagen Zoo euthanised four healthy lions on March 24, 2014 just a few weeks after putting down and publicly dissecting a young giraffe, causing outrage among animal lovers around the world. The zoo said it had killed a 16-year old male lion, a lioness of around the same age and two younger females after a new male lion arrived on Sunday as part of a programme to renew the zoo's breeding stock. Scanpix could not confirm if the lions in the photo were the ones killed.    REUTERS/Mads Nissen/Scanpix   (DENMARK - Tags: ANIMALS SOCIETY) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. DENMARK OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN DENMARK. NO COMMERCIAL SALES
A lion and her cubs enter a lion enclosure for the first time in Copenhagen Zoo inJuly 17, 2013

Paddy Power has opened up betting on which animal is likely to be killed next at Copenhagen Zoo, after four healthy lions were put down this week.

The bookmaker, which was recently ordered to withdraw an advert that offered a “money back if he walks” guarantee for betting on the Oscar Pistorius murder trial, singled out a zebra at the zoo as a 5/1 favourite of being killed next, followed by a polar bear at 8/1.

Odds on an antelope have been put at 6/1 and 14/1 on a tiger, while a hippopotamus is the "current outsider" at 40/1.

Paddy Power said they had tried to negotiate buying any remaining lions, but their offer has been refused by Ulrich Lindegaard Christensen, the zoo’s sales manager, who told them “he could not take their offer seriously”.

Copenhagen Zoo faced international outcry after it euthanised a healthy giraffe because of its breeding procedures, before then putting down a pair of adult lions and two cubs.

After shooting Marius the giraffe in the head, zoo staff dissected him in front of a public crowd, including children, and fed him to the zoo's lions.

The bookmaker said it attempted to "save" Marius before his death by offering to rehouse him in Ireland, where he would have begun a new life as a racing giraffe in the "world's first ever giraffe race" - but this offer was also turned down.

The company said it has since opened betting on which resident could be put down next “to help draw further attention on the zoo”.

When asked what it would do with any lions it procured, Paddy Power somewhat vaguely answered that they would form "the centrepiece of our football World Cup campaign – ‘putting the roar back into the Three Lions’," but refused to disclose any further details.

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