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. Houston

    What's the difference between eating dogs and goats? r both not animals?

    The difference is goat is a little tougher, dogs are too smooth for me.

    Also, this story is about an man from some African tribe giving a gift of animal to another man from North Korea. Basically, our western ways and beliefs has nothing on their cultures and ways. Its the truth.

    I believe the innocent citizens of both country have more serious things on their mind.

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

    I missed an epic trolling. Sadness.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bill Foonman

    Ship Mugabe to North Korea and he and Kim Jong-Il can also be a pair – a pair of tyrannical retards.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. american idiot

    can we donate micheal steele and sarah palin?

    May 18, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. khris

    2 of the most stupid people in the whole world.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kelvin (Christina is my hero!)

    What did Christina say that have everyone so worked up? are my her Christina...I wish I could have as much internet impact as you. Ever thought of entering politics?

    May 18, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. pyeatte

    So Mugabe is sending food aid to North Korea.....interesting.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mohawk

    Oh great white father! I just spoke with Mugabe. He's agreed not to send any of the animals to North Korea, if the British will agree to send all of their stolen Egyptian antiquities, back to Egypt. Is that a deal!

    May 18, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Wes

    What did Xtina post? its gone.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Satan

    Big hairy deal.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bouncing Bunny

    This will help to feed a few North Koreans.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. heinrich

    excuse me.. but am i missing something? almost each post speaks about this CHRISTINTA... but i cant see what she wrote. what did she say ?

    May 18, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JEff B

    They cant feed their OWN are they going to feed the animals ?

    May 18, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |

    Religions have nothing to do with evilness or morality! Everyone beats off (or touches herself)!

    What is the point of pontificating on religious morality?

    Now, go beat off (or touch yourself) and all the world's immorality will go away! 🙂

    May 18, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. k ferr

    sending an "ark" of animals into North Korea right now would be like sending african species to go live in soviet russia. they do not belong there and will most likely end up in a concrete cell and be forgotten. North Korea struggles enough to feed and support their people as it is, a couple undred animals being shipped over is useless except for food

    May 18, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
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