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. historywho22

    The animals are not for a zoo, they're a feast from Kim Jong Il to all the starving people in his country.

    May 18, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chistyna

    What...Where is the original post, Did I miss the best one yet?

    May 18, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Spanners

    I guess that when you love hunting and exotic BBQ but are crazy as a bag of weasels and unable to leave your country, it is nice to have similar friends who can help you out. These guys simply prove that the human race does not really have a chance in the long-term. Good luck to whatever evolves next!

    May 18, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tom

    Eating hearty in N Korea..SMILE

    May 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. POD

    This man is crazier than a bag of rats trapped in a burning Meth lab

    May 18, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Gregory

    Well the Christian fundamentalists have shown us that such an ark is possible, so at least there's no real concerns there.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ethics

    Robert Mugabe can send his Noah's Ark to my refrigerator.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lance

    First he'll tell his minions that he created these beautiful creatures for their enjoyment....then he and his cohorts will eat them.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    What does KJI plan to do, eat them?

    When is someone going to take out both of these nutjobs???

    May 18, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mugabe bush

    Im a true Zimbabwe ,but working in South Africa.Baba [my life president ] our hero Mugabe.We went fight the pink people coz we wanted land. The pink people lied when they come to Zimbabwe [ a land full of huney and milk][ nyika inehuchi ne mukaka] They lied saying ,they came hunting,mining ect.Now we are telling them [the pink] and now they say ,hell no.All the people running there mouth are pink [no white] are here illegal in my country.Unless the pick came to Zimbabwe with land they can stay if not ."I say hell no".Thank you Mr president stand your ground.Africa is for black people and we need our land now.Viva Mugabe and Malema in South Africa

    May 18, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Matthew

    Im sure they both belong to the "insane leaders club" and Mugabe lost a game of cards or something, its just sad these poor animals have to suffer. im sure kim jong crazy's chef has been compiling a list of exotic animals that go well with water chestnuts and baby see how he treats his people, can you imagine how he treats animals

    May 18, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. hellotampa

    This is obviously a barter trade of animals for weapons. Zimbabwe is a failed economy that has no cash to buy weapons, so he pays with animals. And North Korea, another failed economy, will end up putting these animals on a barbecue and eating them, cause they have no adequate facilities to maintain such exotic animals.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jon


    May 18, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dr. Barb Z. Ramaloot

    Thanks liberals for encouraging the monstrous leaders of North Korea and Zimbabwe. Oh, right: It's Bush's fault!!!
    You losers. When are you going to grow up and accept your responsibility for the way the world is today.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CC

    Too bad someone cannot ship Robert Mugabe and Kim Jong on an ark to some very distant and uninhabited island so they could share the place together and have only one another to torment rather than the people of their respective countries and innocent animals. Apparently once again Robert Mugabe proves to care only about himself and his overinflated image by making such a ridiculous gift and causing the animals to be separated from their native environment in order to make him feel like a big shot. He's a pig!

    May 18, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
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