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.

Post by:
Filed under: Animals • North Korea • Zimbabwe
soundoff (752 Responses)
  1. US Citizen

    Finally, a fresh shipment of meat!!!!!! Mugabe really cares about the starving in N. Korea. Can't wait for that BBQ'ed Giraffe and smoked Elephant trunks we'll cook at our illegal nuke plant. MMMMMMmmmmmmm

    May 18, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Daniel

    Animal lovers are the worse kind of people; inhumane, hypocritical and strategically pick their battles that they assume they can win. It seem like their sole purpose is to exploit in the name of caring for animals. If they were truthful about their agenda and showed the same compassion towards their fellow man and woman, they would be a credit to the human race. At the present, they are no different from the greedy business man or racist. 80% of their stance is based on ulterior motives while 20% actually has the animals interest at heart.

    May 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Heath

    Feast your eyes upon two of the most evil men alive right now. How they can parada and be proud of themselves it absolutely disgusting.

    May 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Donna

    Maybe he's planning on finishing destroying his country and wants to get some of the animals out of there – although sending to North Korea certainly wouldn't be top on my list – but with the world watching – North Korea may actually step up to the plate for these animals – maybe. Although they have kids dying in the street – watched a special on a reporter who snuck a camera in – made me sick to my stomach watching these kids literally starve while people around them were eating and shopping in the market. I wished I never read this story.

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

    Wow Christina musn't be able to read or abandonded the chat to retreat in the potty for saftey. =3

    May 18, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |

    Christina Is A natzi! She will bring back Natzis OMG Run for your life its the age of the natzis

    May 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeJay

      How many ways are there to misspell "Nazi"??

      May 19, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mercurious

    Is there any reason why Mugabe appears to be making public appearances as his face drips with an exotic blend of canola oil and glycerin?

    May 18, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Peter

    I scrolled down through what seemed like hundreds of posts looking for christina's original message but couldn't get to it. So sad....
    Anyone care to share or link to it?

    May 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lew

    You have be kidding the North Koreans can't even feed their own people and they want to care for all these exotic wild animals?

    May 18, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. SFGOON

    Epic troll is epic

    May 18, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. TheLordIsMyShepherd

    Praise to Mr Mugabe for this Christian gesture. May the Lord touch Kim Young Ill's heart through this divine gift.

    May 18, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. tom

    why ship them the animals, they are so hungry that will be food for them in no time. let them starve.

    May 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mike

    I don't know how North Korea can afford to keep the animals alive. Millions of North Koreas are starving right now. Both men are insane.

    May 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. tom

    why ship them animals. they will never make it to the zoo. they will end up as stew.

    May 18, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. babsworthington

    Until we invade and depose Robert Mugabe, this sort of thing will continue. Wait–no one cares about Africa. Sorry! Go back to what you weren't doing.

    May 18, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29