The Cruelest Species of All: Humans Wronging Animals

Tigers and Crocodiles are the most vicious animals on earth. We are. Throughout modern history, humans have managed to wreak distinctly cruel and unusual havoc on some of our furriest friends. Here's a look at some of the most shameful cases.

Keld Navntoft/AFP/Getty

Keld Navntoft/AFP/Getty

Marius, Danish Giraffe

Despite a 27,000-strong petition and even other zoos offering to house him, Marius, the 18-month-old giraffe, was led to slaughter yesterday. Though he was healthy, the Copenhagen Zoo said his genes were too common for its breeding program, and he was shot in the head. His death has sparked outrage across the world, especially when it became known that Copenhagen Zoo officials dissected Marius' carcass for visitors and fed it to other animals at the zoo.

via YouTube

Colonel, British Military Dog

On December 23, 2013, British military forces lost a canine comrade in the Laghman province of Afghanistan. The Taliban captured the dog and named him Colonel. The raid in which Colonel was captured coincided with an attack in which British Captain Richard Holloway of the Royal Engineers was killed. Proud of their POW, Taliban forces made a video, parading around the sad-looking dog on a chain.

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Iranian Space Monkey

Before any human would brave the last frontier for Iran, the country launched a monkey above the earth's atmosphere on January 28, 2013. While iran has officially claimed that the cosmonaut monkey made a safe return in Iran, it's unclear that the little guy ever landed safely. Some social media sites pointing out the differences between the official images of the primate before the launch and when it returned to earth.

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Laika, USSR Dog

Oh, poor Laika. The infamous Russian space was proudly launched into orbit in November of 1957 on Sputnik 2. USSR officials told the world that sweet Laika died a week later, an annoucnement that outraged many observers at the time. It turns out Laika's true fate was worse. The stray dog was captured on the streets of Moscow, chained into Sputnik 2 so she could not escape, and ultimately died within a few hours, overheated and panic-stricken. Her orbitting coffin circled the earth 2,570 times and burned up in the earth's atmosphere on April 4, 1958.