Top ten incredibly bizarre Danish stories from 2015

From dissecting lions in front of children to death by potato, Danes have proved in 2015 that they are still capable of making the bizarre look banal.

Top ten incredibly bizarre Danish stories from 2015
Photos: Scanpix/Tambako The Jaguar/Flickr

In no particular order, we take a look at ten of the strangest stories to emerge from the Scandinavian nation this year. Animals and sex make a surprisingly high number of appearances – sometimes, both at the same time.

1. Sexy ad tells Danes to ‘do it for Mom!

An advert for tourism firm Spies Travel went viral in September after it showed mothers removing their sons’ girlfriends’ bras, so desperate were they for grandchildren. A less awkward solution might be for the would-be grannies to send their children on holiday, the ad makers said.

2. Danish zoo kids watch lion dissection

After the furore surrounding Copenhagen Zoo’s public giraffe autopsy in 2014, Odense decided to go one better by slicing up a lion. In front of a crowd of schoolchildren.

3. Danes and Swedes at odds over racist plasters

The historic rivalry between Denmark and Sweden took a farcical turn in August after Denmark only labelled pink plasters or band-aids ‘flesh-coloured’.

Eventually the row was resolved when Danish foreign minister Kristian Jensen apologized for making comments mocking Sweden on Facebook. At least they have something they can use to heal the wounds…

4. Denmark’s most WTF NSFW campaign poster

A prime ministerial hopeful that bares all on his campaign posters? Let’s hope Donald Trump never visits Denmark.

5. Denmark considers adding porn to school curriculum

In a story worryingly reminiscent of a scene from a Monty Python film, a Danish professor suggested using pornographic films as part of schools’ sex education programs, saying that it beat having to “roll a condom onto a cucumber.” Less surprisingly, the story also revealed that 99 per cent of teenage boys in Scandinavia have seen porn.

6. Man jailed for killing his brother with potatoes

A northern Jutland man died when a drunken brawl ended with his brother stuffing potatoes into his mouth, choking him.

7. Radio hosts kill baby rabbit on air

Not Allan. Photo: Ian McKellar/Flickr

In an effort to highlight poor animal welfare in the agricultural sector, Radio24syv host Asger Juhl killed a baby rabbit, Allan, live on air.

“I hit it hard over the neck twice so that the cervical vertebrae fractured,” said Juhl, sounding more serial killer than disc jockey.

8. Dane commits ‘genitalia vandalism’ in IKEA

Most of us can relate to the pain of a Saturday visit to IKEA. A man from Aalborg struck a blow for immature flat-pack haters everywhere by taking a complimentary pencil and proceeding to draw small penises all over his local store.

9. Russia rehearses invasion of Denmark

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Grigory Dukor/Scanpix

More than just Putin posturing: a US report revealed in June that 33,000 Russian soldiers took part in a military exercise which rehearsed a takeover of Danish island Bornholm, as well as parts of Finland, Sweden and Norway.

The Russians have, in fact, briefly occupied Bornholm before – it was liberated by the Red Army at the end of World War II.

10. Vice shines light on bestiality in Denmark

“They’ve got animal sex on their brains. That’s their whole life, they love it,” says Peter Sandøe of the Danish Ethical Council for Animals in a Vice documentary that shines light on bestiality in Denmark, one of the few countries where zoophilia is legal.


Coronavirus: Four lions test positive at Barcelona zoo

Four lions at Barcelona Zoo, three of them older females, caught Covid-19 last month but suffered only mild symptoms and have since recovered, the Catalan animal park said.

Coronavirus: Four lions test positive at Barcelona zoo
File photo of lions in a zoo: AFP

Their keepers were tipped off when they noticed “mild respiratory symptoms” among three 16-year-old females and a four-year-old male, a zoo statement said.

The symptoms emerged as two of their keepers tested positive for the virus.   

“The four lions were tested with the viral antigen detection kit… and were found to be positive,” it said, indicating the diagnosis was confirmed by PCR tests.

They were immediately treated with anti-inflammatories and closely monitored under a protocol similar to that for the flu, and “responded positively”.

“At no time were the lions seen having difficultly breathing or other respiratory issues, and all symptoms disappeared within a fortnight, apart from coughing and sneezing,” the zoo said.

To avoid catching the virus, the keepers wore FFP3 masks, plexiglass visors and protective footwear, and they were lowered into the enclosure in a halter.   

The zoo also contacted “international experts such as the Bronx Zoo veterinary service in New York, the only one to have documented a case of Sars-CoV-2 infection in big cats,” it said.

In early April, a four-year-old female tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for Covid-19, likely contracting it from a keeper who was asymptomatic at the time.

Since the start of the pandemic, cats, dogs and various other animals have tested positive for Covid-19 but until now, minks are the only animals proven to both contract the virus and pass it on to humans.

Several countries have ordered the mass culling of their mink populations, notably Denmark where more than 10 million have already been killed.