Zoo officials in Switzerland say they have no room for a second male hippo, so they are seeking a new home for Farasi, a 200+ pound calf born last November. If they cannot find a suitable home, Farasi will sent to an animal sanctuary in Africa for permanent care.
Just kidding, they’re going to kill him and feed him to the lions.
American zoos believe in birth control or sexual abstinence for their animal populations. But Europe’s 4,000 zoos take a more continental approach to reproductive rights: Animals should be free to do what comes naturally. The result is a surplus of offspring. And if zookeepers can’t find a home for the babies, zoos typically kill them. Some carcasses are used for research. Meatier cuts — and Farasi surely qualifies — are thrown to the lions.
This is especially awkward for the Swiss, since they voted Farasi the “Swiss of the Year” in 2008. Second place went to Roger Federer. And no, I am not making that up for comedic effect. They really, really like animals in Switzerland:
Animals have a special place in Swiss hearts. Last September, Switzerland passed an animal bill of rights that says that pet guinea pigs, for instance, should be kept in pairs to avoid loneliness. Swiss have to mercifully knock out their goldfish before flushing them down the toilet.
A large Swiss circus offered to take Farasi on the road, but zoo officials say that would not be a suitable home for a hippo, which should live in a social pod. I’m sure Farasi would agree that anything — even being torn limb from limb by hungry tigers — is better than wearing a red feather boa and fez and marching in a circle while a bunch of spastic Albanian contortionists roll around on the floor next to you. On second thought that sounds pretty cool.