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. KarateGirl

    Amazing that a retarded gesture like this brings all the other retards out of the woodwork supporting it. Nothing like religious zealots spouting off their gibberish trying to justify some of the dumbest actions on the planet. Even though there are all these replies telling them how idiotic they are, they'll just brush it off as "infidels" or some such nonsense. What I can't believe is that Mugabe is still alive. I've followed his story from his takeover and it's hard to understand how he's still around after dessimating the country and causing so much suffering. My heart goes out to the poor people still left in that country.

    May 18, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. what???

    oh. she was kidding. no, those of us who couldn't tell are not idiots.

    May 18, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. O. B. Server

    Let the tin-horn dictators have their fun, I say.

    May 18, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. don canard

    these two waste products should suffer whatever fate those animals do. Oh, and it figures that religious idiots would show up in this thread and start defecating about the bible.

    May 18, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. dont taze me bro

    my gut is literally in pain from laughing at this thread. I came to see 'sparked outrage', and i was NOT disappointed. haha stay classy internet, stay classy

    May 18, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Tom Ross

    just "NO.".

    May 18, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Stacks Edwards

    This is not a laughing matter. More people should try to be as noble as these two. They are settting the standard.

    May 18, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. David

    We just need to stay out of other countries business. If they do this transfer so f'n be it. We are not the world police. Who are we to tell them that they can't or shouldn't.

    May 18, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. dont taze me bro

    this is a tremendous laughing matter. I can't tell whether i'm coming or going in this thread

    May 18, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. DC

    Both Mugabe and Kim Jong need to die immediately!

    May 18, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Howler

    My guess is they'll be eaten within a week. Mmm, elephant tastes much like spotted owl or bald eagle, says Great Leader.

    May 18, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Stacks Edwards

    DC I will send you over there as a gift.

    May 18, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. 1happycamper

    It is a fact entire species of frogs (and other animals) have gone extinct in N. Korea. Know why? Because people have eaten them all. They are starving. The have resulted to eating anyhing they can catch. The whole country is brainswashed and starved by this maniac.

    May 18, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Runklelock

    Hey at least it's not a story on race relations..wait.. white rhino, black rhino..holy crap it is! I'm more concerned what was on the other side of that trade....two baby elephants = warheads for Zimbawe?

    May 18, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. bigeddie

    It just takes one to set the whole bunch off...don't you guys know how this goes?! Someone, typically a nard, makes a planned, wierd comment that makes us all wacky!

    May 18, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • lol they mad

      everythingwentbetterthanexpected.jpg

      May 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
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