As autumn nears, many of the young animals at the Reykjavík zoo are on their way to the slaughterhouse. However, they will not be eaten by the public.
Þorkell Heiðarsson, a marine biologist at the zoo, told Pressan that this is a natural part of the life cycle of the zoo animals.
“The animals multiply in the spring, and we need to reduce them in the fall,” he said. “How fast they reproduce varies, but here we’re talking about kids [baby goats], lambs, calves and piglets. Sometimes minks and foxes are also put down, but that hasn’t been necessary this year.”
Þorkell added that most of the animals at the zoo, unless otherwise protected by law, will end up at the slaughterhouse.
How many animals are slaughtered all depends on how fast they reproduce, he said. Rabbits, for example, can be slaughtered by the dozens every year, while far fewer lambs are put down.
Þorkell said that the animals slaughtered are not put on the market for human consumption. What, then, is done with them is still unknown.