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. Paul

    Christina... you're as nutty as Kim Jong.

    May 18, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • TMass

      She probably does not know what is happening in Zimbabwe or at least she has benefited from his ruining of a once prosperous nation putting millions of people in great pain

      May 18, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe dude

      Christina is as nutty as Mugabes ballsack

      May 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      Want to bet all the animals are dead before they get there from the radiation of the smuggled uranium in the hulls

      May 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      More likely the animals end up on a buffet table than in a " Noah's Ark". This isn't the first time Dear Leader has had a taste for the 'exotic'.

      May 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • belinda

      this is absolutely absurd!!! Cruel and inhumane treatment to these young elephant infants!! I cant believe the President of the COUNTRY where such beautiful and treasured animals originate is willing to treat them so inhumainly!1

      May 18, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Are you kidding me????? Why in the world would this being happening? They can't and won't feed thier own people so what makes you so sure that they will be able to take care of these animals. Extremely horrible idea. And what is the trade? Animals for bombs? Whatever.

      May 18, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • THOMAS

      Im not an animal rights activist but do fair for the wellbeing of animals so that I can have a healthy dinner.But those animals that there planning to send would never survive a korean winter unless they were isolated indoors which they probably would be , but that also would effect there health and stress levels.

      May 18, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnny trust

      alright, aside from issues that require financing and effort to change. how bout we focus on our own 'gulf' issue in our own backyard? the lives of those animals? lol

      May 18, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Franzl

      shouldn't SoKo feed their people before these pets?!?

      May 18, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      I have to agree with others who question the motive. "Zimbabwe is sending experts to North Korea to be sure the animals are properly cared for", the latter words are "properly prepared and marinated". The question is, what is Kim Jong sending in return? My guess is weapons or the famous North Korean dish, rock and stick soup.

      May 18, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • doug

      what a bunch of political crap; as usual.

      May 18, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mugabe is God

      I know Mugabe is God!! Who else rescue Two of Each Godly Animals in an Ark, huh?

      More over, It is only God that can rich and healthy in a country of 40 Million starving humanlings.

      Hey, I love Mugabe!! I just hope I inherit all the Godly power and wealth......

      Ahhhh.... wish me luck!!!!

      African Peon to God Mugabe.

      May 18, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • absleague

      Lo Mein Specials are going to be in high demand.

      May 19, 2010 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
    • ahkai

      What's sad is that since the asian culture doesn't have the same western sensibilities as those in the west (I'm 1st generation chinese living in N.A., it would surprise me the slightest if the animals are actually eaten). I know in my ethnic culture it's common practice; don't see why it wouldn't happen in North Korea too.

      May 19, 2010 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
    • flora

      chris moyles of bbc is a big racist why is he always telling lies about Happy. his puppet scott mills has also learnt to tell listeners lies.besides its not good to insult other people even if they are not white.what does chris moyles and sally hudson and universal church of god with their satanist intentions want from he the only person on earth.clearly this is a big war of human abuse.BBC is trying to prove to us that you can racially abuse any person who is not white and that those people cannot be protected by the law or have no human rights at all. stop your abuse of other people.flora

      May 19, 2010 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
    • chuckles

      I would just like to say that in all my years of lurking on various news and other forums, this has been the most successful trolling operation I have ever seen. I am in awe of all of you.

      May 19, 2010 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • oh no

      aww its gone

      May 19, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Hungry

      Good idea the people of N. Korea are starving...they will probabally eat the animals and burn the "ark" to stay warm.

      May 19, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • gary

      wats for dinner lolololol

      May 19, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jim

    Likely as not they will all get eaten when they get there.

    May 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      I love animals. They're delicious.

      May 18, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • paul

      mugabe may be sending those animals in case he has to leave the country suddenly, so he can feel right at home in exile in north korea,

      May 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • paul

      it,s a cnn bad hair day they are fuseing to post to-day, so don,t say anything wrong about robert mugabe or kim jong cnn.s friends

      May 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • John R

      It's not April 1, is it??

      May 19, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chuck Wiley

    Maybe Mugabe should include himself in this gift – he certainly is another species unto himself!

    May 18, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fluffy

      I second that reply Chuck! If there's any way we can include Mugabe in the shipment I am all for it!

      May 18, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • thetruth

      Yes, agreed, sad when an obviously ignorant idiot like this can rule a country, very sad.

      May 18, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • ladygaga

      Britain is a democratic country,please bbc stop your silly accussations about Happy.He is a human being although he is not white.You must stop your racism.Britain is trying to fight racism but bbc is telling the world that racism is accepted in Britain for as long as it is directed to minority groups.Is Happy a slave of bbc .Chris Moyles of bbc owns Happy i think he even dreams of him.Why is he afraid of him.Why does he lie about him yet he is an old ugly man himself but labell others as being ugly.He must look at himself in the mirror.

      May 19, 2010 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  4. Lisa

    Christina, you are as crazy as Mugabe! This is a 'gift' from one oppressor to another, it has nothing to do with God, the bible or any regard for the safety and well-being of the animals. Plus, if you knew ANYTHING about North Korea, you might realise that they are hardly likely to be taught a CHRISTIAN BIBLE ALLEGORY. It's a communist country, for goodness' sake! Freedom of religion is not exactly tolerated or encouraged.

    May 18, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • paul

      thier religious practise is reading chairman moa,s little book of the 1,000 mile journey down the great wall.

      May 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Richard

    Christina, you're a sicko !

    May 18, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Spotter

    What a troll...

    May 18, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. nina

    Christina – did you not read the article or do you just have no consideration of animals?

    May 18, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. A Murphy

    Sinners of the world? I too have concerns for these animals and their welfare. I couldn't care less about any biblical story that it is meant to represent. That doesn't make me a makes me a good person. Religion does not hold a monopoly on morals. You sound just as ignornant as most religious zealots.

    May 18, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bill

    Christina is a perfect example of why I don't want religious people in charge of anything!

    May 18, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Erik

    Blessed is Mugabe? It's people like you that make this world a sick place Christina

    May 18, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Comrade

    Christina – Do you know who Mugabe is? Mugabe keeping the story of the bible alive? Dan G has the facts!

    May 18, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mary

    By your posting one can assume that you are a religious person. Where is your compassion for theses innocent animals, whom, by all accounts will not be properly taken care of and in the case of the elephants are not even weaned? This has nothing to do with the bible. This is basic decency and "humanity" towards these animals. YOur response is extremely disappointing.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dkcart

      Seems to me there are people here pretending to be religious in order to incite anger towards those who are actually religious, which isn't hard to do here on CNN. Anyone who believes in the truth of God would know that Mugabe and Jong care little for these animals or humanity.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • duffy

      Dkcart, if Christina's behavior were atypical of religious people, we wouldn't believe she is for real. But religious people spew this kind of junk all the time. If she is pretending, it doesn't really matter because she's indistinguishable from a real religious person. It's Poe's law.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rick can't be serious. Have you heard of Kim Jong before? Do you think his practices are supported by the bible...or any reasonable religious teachings for that matter? Get a clue.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Stan

    Both men should be executed by whatever means necessary and ASAP.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bruce

    And how much worthless currency did you receive to write that garbage, Christina? Mugabe is just another dictator in a part of the world that is full of them. However, his sins are all the more egregious since unlike a lot of other African dictators, he had least HAD a working economy.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
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