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. Kudzai

    All of you who are so vile and judgmental-what exactly is it that you know about Mugabe besides the propaganda you have been fed by the Western media? Nothing!!! The vendatta the western media has with Mugabe is the same one that Western governments have-they are all fighting the same war: preservation of white economic supremacy within Zimbabwe. Well, that is not ever happening again. Most of you have been told that Morgan Tsvangirai (a western puppet) is the Messiah, the one to deliver Zimbabwe from Mugabe's misgovernment and autocracy. You need to ask yourselves one question-if Tsvangirai had been an American or a Briton, what chance would he have of being President or Prime Minister–zero!!! And, the reason of course is more than racial. The guy is a dead piece of wood, has no mind of his own, uneducated (barely even has a high school diploma)–and of course, this is why he is being forced on us Zimbabweans. Now, the only deliverance Zimbabwe needs is deliverance from that dangerous ignoramus called Tsvangirai, a puppet of western governments. When all of you elect into your government someone who is dumber than G.W., then you will have the right to stick your noses into our business. Until then, please shut the hell up!!!

    May 18, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • ZakB

      Then why doe you and your kin flock to South Africa where there are still a couple of whites(read western) left. Stay in Zimbaboonwe and eat grass and locusts

      May 18, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris Charming


      You're just further proof that Zimbabwe should be given back to Britain. Your democractic experiment has been nothing but a total failure. Your currency is worthless, your people are starving, and your leader is a moral pygmy. Your theft of white-owned farms is criminal. You can't even feed yourself, let alone lecture us. Go back to the jungle and fu– a chimp.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      It must be reallly good to live in Wiemar-esque Zimbabwe, where hyperinflation is the deal of the day there Kudzai. Now, what caused such a drastic devaluation of the currency, why not ask Mr. Mugabe. After all, he was a gigantic fan of throwing out white people from any place where they had any impact on the economy. He then replaced them with people who did not have the skills, or a clue as to how to run the job they were given. Must be a real paradise. In fact, why don't you go and live there, if you want to speak of the grand paradise that place is, why don't you practice what you preach.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Yes, clearly it is much better for the citizens now than it was 20 years ago.

      Wake up.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • CJ in Michigan

      Kudzai, most Americans could not find Zimbabwe on a map of the world if their lives depended on it. Zimbabwe is just not the center of the universe to anybody outside of Africa. Blaming the West for the sinkhole Mugabe and his loutish cronies have created in a once prosperous land is just an attempt to hide the fact that people like Mugabe and you, his slavering syncophant, have fouled your own nests. I feel deep sympathy for the citizens of Zimbabwe who have to live under the heel of the brute Mugabe and I feel deep sympathy for anybody who has to share a country with a head-bobbing lickspittle such as yourself. You are a Zimbabwean Quisling, and hopefully one day soon you and Mugabe will share his ignomious fate.

      May 18, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • cedarrapids

      Please kudzai, provide evidence of just one story that we have been 'fed' by the western media about mugabe, and the situation in zimbabwe, that is incorrect.

      And ChrisCharming and ZakB, grow up and get a life, less of the racist comments, they are not needed.

      May 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • S

      Cool, give us "Western Governments" back all of our foreign aid then. You are clearly doing well and don't need it. Since we are so "evil" you shouldn't take money from us. TWIT.

      May 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • ryan

      Zimbabwe is a thrid world nation with a third rate dictator as head of government. That it still suffering from colonialism there is no doubt. But now the blame lays solely ar ethe feet of the persons governing that nation–Zimbabweans.

      Stop blaming others for the mess that is your government. It isn't accurate nor does it do anything to correct the problems the country has.

      May 18, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel, Palm Beach, FL

      So basically you are defending the violent actions of a dictator? Do you justify his terror campaign against the groups that would vote against his party? This is a man who has undermined his entire country for the benefit of his own lavish lifestyle. Mugabe has single-handedly made Zimbabwe's economy a joke and made it fall off the planet.

      If Kudzai actually had family in Zimbabwe, I'm sure he wouldn't be so vocal.

      May 18, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mick

      You see the problem as all politcal, but in fact, the problem is for the animals. South Africa has the space to keep these wild animals well. North Korea, not only does not have the facilities, but can't feed its own people without international aid, much less all these animals. These animals should stay where they get the best care and that is South Africa!

      May 18, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • ZakB

      @cedarrapids. I've lived in South Africa for more than 40 years and have been to Zimbabwe on a number of occasions. So you think they have not really resorted to eating grass and locusts? And to top that you think I'm racist for saying it? I doubt you have ever been out of Iowa

      May 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • mugabe bush

      Thank you Kudzie.

      May 18, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeJay

      Kudzai, you are a sad piece of Mugabe's work...and when Mugabe comes for you don't ask for asylum in some
      "racist" western country. you have exactly the kind of country you deserve.

      May 19, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. lolumad

    ya'll postin' in a troll thread

    May 18, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. savebernards

    I think people would enjoy seeing Kim and Mugabe put in cages and locked up.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mmm mmm good

    Yall know the animals won't last thru the winter, the North Koreans are gonna eat em

    May 18, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. McDonalds

    If African and Korea would just get some MickeyD's, everything would be fine. And maybe US of A wouldn't be the only fat nation in the world.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • RedWhiteBlue

      Wow. They have internet in Africa? good for you! Do you all take turns on the same computer?

      May 18, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. TwM

    No fan of North Korea. However what is wrong with this? We are talking animals here not people. They are sending experts to help them care for these animals. What is the problem ? We have NO RIGHT to dictate what another country gifts to anyone.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. OP Christina

    Can't read my
    Can't read my
    No they can't read my
    Trolllin' face
    (She never trolled nobody)

    May 18, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Think!!

    How many minutes before those animals are eaten by starving North Koreans?

    May 18, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MeowTV2

    Why a Noah's Ark in Korea???? what are thoses guy planning exactly? Is there a manufactured 'flood' in progress that we dont know about?

    May 18, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • WoofChannel3

      We're going to take a ride on the Oil Ocean!

      May 18, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. WOW!

    Holy Cow...there are some angry people out there. I read Chritina's comment and immediately got the JOKE. Some of you people need to crawl out of your cubicles or dark basements and get a clue. Lets have just a little faith in humanity. In regards to the article. You all should not get your panties all in a bunch over what two countries NOBODY has control over decide to do. Just chill out and wait for the next ride on the news cycle!

    May 18, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Amengeo

    Why does the West always meddle in the internal affairs of sovereign countries?What North Korea and Zimbabwe do between themselves is their business and their internal affairs. These do-gooders and tree-huggers need to concern themselves with conservation and human rights in their own countries rather than lecturing and advising smaller countries as if they were little children. And to hell with the elephants. When the population expands, Malthusian imperatives will solve the problem.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian from Chicago

      There's that word again, "sovereign". Is that supposed to mean "legitmate"? Because I don't think it does. A legitimate country would make some effort to keep its people from starving.

      And I'm referring to BOTH Zimbabwe and North Korea here.

      May 18, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Of course we do! Our TAX money supports many countries in Africa. Before you claim to be sovereign nation, try to feed your own people without asking an aid from the West, instead of spending time on this stupid “project”

      May 18, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Irony

      as much as I agree with you and as much as I dislike hippies... we are a global economy now thanks to shipping efficiencies, the internet (thanks al gore), and the stock markets. Being an American and after living in West Africa for several years, you really begin to learn that we are all in this together, and part of the global economy is also social responsibility, which has a huge impact on financial markets and all of our well being as well. Countries don't colonize anymore because it doesn't work and it's in our benefit not to turn a blind eye to other countries in good times and bad. We have to share the resources and needs amongst all of us in the global economy. Rather we like it or not.

      Now if these animals have a big impact is debateable, and rather humorous that this many people have responded.

      May 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Futon Torpedo

    Not sparking much outrage on this board. LOL

    May 18, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sage

    Sure is vidya in here

    May 18, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Trollking

    fake and gay

    May 18, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. I swear

    it's like i'm really at home on my forums, except during the day, and on CNN. Please god no

    May 18, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
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