A Copenhagen zoo employee recently fired for inappropriate sexual conduct with a male giraffe is suing the zoo and the Danish government to defend his “inalienable right” to marry Otto, a 6-year-old giraffe.
Muhammad Ben Shawari, who immigrated with his parents to Denmark when he was only twelve years old, says it was “love at first sight” when he saw 2-year-old Otto for the first time.
“I had flings with other animals at the zoo previously, but with Otto, it became serious very fast,” he admitted to the Copenhagen Tribune.
A broken dream
Shawari blames the Danish government for the recent 2015 law change against bestiality that has made impossible “their dream to be together” he told reporters.
Shawari also plans to defend himself against several charges of zoophilia after the Copenhagen police authorities raided his home and found thousands of images of himself in “full sexual intercourse” with several animals at the zoo, including “an ostrich, a panda, and a kangaroo” reads the police report.
Shawari is suing the Danish government for outlawing bestiality in 2015 and the zoo as well for discrimination against his “sexual preferences.”
A controversial law
Denmark’s Animal Ethics Council (DAEC) opposed banning bestiality in Denmark in 2015, saying existing laws which allow bestiality except in cases where the animal can be proved to have suffered were enough.
“Domestic animals have the right to have sex” explains Morten Frederiksen, spokesperson for DAEC.
“A 2014 study showed that most domestic animals happiness is increased when they are allowed to be sexually active within their own species or with animals outside their own species, including humans,” he said.
On 21 April 2015, the Liberal Alliance was the only party in the Danish parliament to oppose and massively vote against banning bestiality.
Liberal Alliance representative Lance Jorgenson vehemently opposed the banning of bestiality in 2015 and went on an unsuccessful 72-hour hunger strike to show his disapproval of the bill.
According to a 2016 poll carried out by Gallup, 76% of Danish people still support bestiality and 23% have practiced it or intend to practice it in the future, even though bestiality has been outlawed since 2015.