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. mugabe bush

    Thank you Christina.Im in your bout.We are proud for what we are.Dont look back.Viva Zimbabwe.[pamberi neZimbabwe]Im serious about our land.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. realisticsurvivor

    Considering the human environment in North Korea I would expect this. Those animals are what's for supper.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. KB

    Either Christina is truly blind, or these posts were designed to do exactly what they did – stir up a lot of anger against Christians,... Mugabe may profess to be one, but given the number of people he has murdered, stolen from, and the megalomania he subjects his country to, no way. Unfortunately there are people in every religion who use it strictly as some form of propaganda to manipulate others, he is no exception.
    This whole deal is a farce, especially since white rhinos are so endangered there may not be enough left to save them. They are both monsters, the world will be better off if they would just hurry up and die.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. realisticsurvivor

    Considering the human element in North Korea. The new animals are what's for supper.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. realisticsurvivor

    You all need to put the bible down and check your belly. Those animals will be eaten. You get hungry enough you will eat.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Logan

    I just want to see what the heck got everyone so fired up, I can't find Christinas' original post anywhere. Please link, I'm dying to read this uber-troll posting...

    May 18, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jason from Hollywood

    As long as Kim Jong Ill got 2 of every cancer, I'm happy

    May 18, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mae

    This notion is ludicrous. Those poor animals will suffer cruelly in North Korea. Their zoos are dreadful, they have no respect for animals, they demonstrate no compassion for life in general. You don't hand over children to an abusive home! Why would you do the same to animals??? This is just disturbing. Very very disturbing!!

    May 18, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Logan

    Where is the original post? I'm dying to read this uber-troll....

    May 18, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Michael Smith

    This is hardly the first time Robert Mugabe has done something that made himself look like an idiot. Zimbabwe needs to stand up to this lunatic.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. GianCarlo

    I agree, this nut can't even feed it's starving people, yet he is willing to care for these animals. The world has gone nuts. Give me a break.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Gourmet epicurean

    On the bright side, there will be a lot fewer hungry people this winter in north Korea.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TIA VOTY

    Robert Mugabe should send some APES over to North Korea and by that I mean his UGLY self and his WIFE..a perfect APE pair for Dear leader to care for. Leave the other animals in Zimbabwe!!

    May 18, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mike

    Mugabe's people are starving, jobless and desperate. Kim Jong's people are utterly repressed and impoverished. How do these so-called leaders stay in power?

    May 18, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Paul

    Mugabe was in Congo fighting for so-called FREEDOM with Mbeki and Koffi Anan blessings. Congo, country where schools are in every corner of streets, is now in hands of a guy with elementary school education! If Mugabe can kill his own people, kill in Congo, animals will be killed without merci. They will be sent to another carnivore like Mugabe... At his age, wearing diaper because of urinary frequency, he can't remember where his keys are. How can he remember where animals are going? Does he know the difference?

    May 18, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
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