Canadian zoo spares life of baby reindeer Rudolph
TORONTO (Reuters Life!) - The Toronto Zoo has found a new home for three male reindeer after being hit by a wave of public anger last month when it euthanized two newborns because of overpopulation.
After holding an emergency meeting to review its culling program, the Toronto Zoo announced on Tuesday that a nearby zoo will take two four-year-old reindeer and one baby -- dubbed Rudolph by Canadian media -- who was born last week.
In a letter to the editor of the Toronto Sun newspaper, the Toronto Zoo's senior veterinarian, Graham Crawshaw, defended the zoo's euthanasia policy as a sensitive practice that is carried out when alternatives such as reintroduction into the wild, castration and reproductive control are not possible.
"When none of these measures is feasible without causing stress or impacting upon group behavior, then individual animals, regrettably, should be humanely put down in a fear-free environment," Crawshaw said.
A zoo at Bowmanville, Ontario, has agreed to take the three reindeer because two of its older reindeer died recently, which freed up space in its herd.
The three males will remain at the Toronto Zoo with 11 females for a few more months until the required paper work is completed.
Toronto Zoo officials declined further comment.
(Reporting by Claire Sibonney; Editing by Peter Galloway)
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