The zoo authorities killed the animal, ignoring a petition signed by thousands and offers from other zoos and a private individual to save it. Visitors, including children, were invited to watch the murder and the giraffe was then skinned and fed to the lions.
The giraffe, Marius, was a healthy male. He was killed on Sunday using a bolt pistol, said zoo spokesman Tobias Stenbaek Bro.
The incident has triggered a wave of online protests and reportedly, the zoo officials has even got death threats.
Before the giraffe was killed, an online petition to save it had received more than 20,000 signatures. Reportedly, the zoo had turned down offers from other ones to take Marius and an offer from a private individual who wanted to buy the giraffe for 500,000 euros ($680,000).
Shocking enough, the zoo officials said they were 'proud' of their act. They said that they allowed parents to decide whether their children should watch the killing of the animal, which they described as 'display of scientific knowledge about animals'.
"I'm actually proud because I think we have given children a huge understanding of the anatomy of a giraffe that they wouldn't have had from watching a giraffe in a photo," an official told the Associated Press.