May 18th, 2010
01:28 PM ET

Mugabe's 'Noah's Ark' gift to Kim Jong Il sparks outrage

Robert Mugabe, right, is said to be giving two of every species in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park to North Korea's Kim Jong Il.

The British conservation group Born Free has joined the outcry against a plan by Zimbabwe to ship a “Noah’s Ark” of wildlife, including two young elephants, to North Korea.

News reports last week said the animals, reportedly two of every species in Zimbabwe’s 14,600 square kilometer Hwange National Park, are to be a gift from Zimbawean President Robert Mugabe to his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong Il.

“We can see no conservation benefit to these plans, and are concerned about the substantial threat to the welfare of the individual animals involved,” Born Free said in a statement on its website.

The group said the 18-month-old elephants are unlikely to fare well during the approximate 7,000 mile trip and afterward when they get to North Korea.

“Baby elephants normally continue to suckle from their mothers for 4 years, so removal at this young age could have a severe physical impact in terms of nutrition, immunity and other developmental issues. It is also certain to have a huge impact on the emotional and social development of the young animals,” the group’s statement said.

Other animals to be included in the transfer include black and white rhinos, cheetahs, lions, leopards, giraffes and zebras, according to news reports.

Johnny Rodrigues, head of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, said teams of trappers are working in the Hwange park around the clock to fulfill the Mugabe order, according to a report in The Zimbabwean newspaper. He said his group was trying to enlist international influence to block the transfer.

North Korea’s zoos do not meet international standards, he said.

Born Free agreed. “Our fear is that the facilities in North Korea would fall far short of even the most basic requirements for the physical and psychological well-being of the animals,” the organization said.

But according to a report from The Standard newspaper in Zimbabwe, the country’s parks chief, Vitalis Chadenga, said Zimbabwe is sending experts to North Korea to be sure the animals are properly cared for.

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Filed under: Animals • North Korea • Zimbabwe
soundoff (752 Responses)
  1. Kraznodar

    One terrorist dictator giving gifts to another, how quaint.

    May 19, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. EML

    I'd be more worried about the North Koreans eating the animals the next time they are being starved by their nutcase dictator! Black Rhino for breakfast and leopard for lunch?

    May 19, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mick Mack

    Don't worry Christina – The Scriptures say that in the end, we will be a small remnant of the church who will be persecuted. Shame but true – it's happening here. With all these crazy things happening, strange things in the "sky", wars and rumors of war, cults, increase in earthquakes, and everything else that has arrived as prophesized, there can only be a short time left to this ugly world. We don't know the exact time, but when it happens, the people who love their money and mall purchases will speak bad of us and not believe what we speak as in the days of Noah. One day, all will bow to THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE KING, Jesus Christ and beg for forgiveness so they too can enter heavenly eternity. May you bow your head to Jesus Christ, you ronly savior, today.

    May 19, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mick Mack

    Like in the days of Noah. Be careful folks, we are getting back to like in the days of Noah again. Then the END. You will beg to be forgiven,

    May 19, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MikeJay

    Speak up, ArizonaYankee!

    May 19, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mick Mack

    Like in the days of Noah. Be careful folks, we are getting back to like in the days of Noah again. Then the END. You will beg to be forgiven.

    May 19, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dabeck

    They are going to eat them.

    May 19, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cieje3

    *Sigh* The powerful do what the powerful want... If Mugababwa wants to irresponsibly transport animals as a gift to Kim Jong mentallyIL, that's his business.

    May 19, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. DM

    Kim Jong Il is too Dellusional to understand the consequences of his actions. His buddy Mugabe is also a dictator that will likely leave a legacy of insanity to his be administered by his abused and intellectually inferior offspring. Antagonism is all they undersand and can effectively wield as a weapon. These actions are to antagonize the thinking, civilized world. Dont despair for these animals; they are likely lost. Pay particular attention to what these dictators do with the media coverage they are desperately fighting for. I bet they do something even more antagonistic, like threaten to build nuke plants (Which of course, they could never effectively do) Or buy radioactive weapons from Russia. Even the Chinese cant stand them because they are likely to suddenly die and leave their quasi-government in the hands of thier abused and mentally challenged children.

    I would be surprised if they actually were able to complete the shipment. After all, that takes planning, cooperation, and money. Three key components that neither of these dictatorships posess.

    Have you seen thier countries? It's outright embarrassing!

    May 19, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. uSoFunE

    Can someone repost Christina's post? After all this, I'm really curious to see it!

    May 19, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John Freeman

    what happened to the original post, the post count is still climbing but i'm not seeing the original Christina post or any of it's replies. It apparently increased by 50 posts since I got to work :(

    May 19, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sean Mulligan

    This article mangles the facts. Here is a more accurate article on the animal trade.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/19/AR2010051901885.html

    May 19, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. christopher

    Yes, sanctified is the bloke who let his country down the trail of ruin for absolutely no reason apart from gluttony and preservation of his very own power in office. Sanctified is Mugabe, who led his country, once the "Breadbasket of Southern Africa", down the trail of continual starvation and illness. Yes, sanctified is Mugabe, who's nations's currency became pointless in such short period of time. Yes, Sanctified is Mugabe indeed.

    June 27, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dan G

    Yes, blessed is the guy who let his country down the path of ruin for no reason other than greed and preservation of his own power in office. Blessed is Mugabe, who led his country, once the "Breadbasket of Southern Africa", down the path of constant starvation and disease. Yes, blessed is Mugabe, who's country's currency became worthless in such short amount of time.

    Yes, Blessed is Mugabe indeed.

    May 18, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. rjp3

    vile - hope this was a joke

    May 18, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
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