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. bummed

    what the heck did christina say? Can't find her post. It had to be epic...her name is mentioned in 140 posts that range from calling her a "sarcastic genius" to calling her "nutty as Mugabes ballsack."

    Also, love the rick-roll. lmfao.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jim honest

    1st , get rid of mr mugabe (villian) then get rid of kim dong dong there also! when pres palin gets into office soon ^^/

    May 18, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bob S

    WOW CHRISTINA wins the award for Troll of the year – I have never ever seen a troll response like this. As soon as I read it I thought – this is either an amazingly well written Troll comment OR a Mugabe Representative. The linking of religion and Mugabe and WOW – it was amazing.

    Somehow CNN has messed up the comments and Christina's comment no longer appears (if someone could repost it that would be great). Amazing response though. Of the comments on this story 80% are targeting Christina.

    SHe should get a Webby.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ginny

    it's time for humane euthanasia, and i don't mean of the animals.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. boboh

    shows we really need that h1n1 outbreak.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Richard

    How can this happen many have asked??? Simple money and power. N Korea probably promised both to mugabe and he is falling for it. Hey Kim has to eat and his tastes are for the exotic and perverted.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bill

    Food for thought, in the multiverse there must surely be at least one in which God exists.
    It has already been said that the universe is stranger than we can imagine.

    May 19, 2010 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. loco chancho

    I like these animal rights groups,, seems like they are the only people geting things done.. We need people like u saving lives and defending the rights of HUMANS in palestine ,rather then animals in zimbabwe.. Thats how u should be when u get ur priorites stright.. or oh yeah.. u just need a job:)

    May 19, 2010 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. The Old Spy

    Are they going to include recipes?

    May 19, 2010 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. davec41

    He's killed enough of his people. Now it's time to kill off the wildlife. MUTT! ! ! !

    May 19, 2010 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
  11. FN Cee

    C'mon boys and girls ... the wrong mammals will be in cages ... Which is the case in much of the 3rd world ... the unfortunate citizens of these two nations and the rest of the world at large will be better off when they are no longer in control of anything.

    May 19, 2010 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dennis

    Kim Jong Il is going to form a North Korean chapter of PETA – People Eating Tasty Aniimals.

    May 19, 2010 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |
  13. Yowza

    That picture of Mugabe looks like he just took a foot to the sack.

    May 19, 2010 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
  14. guest

    Sometimes it seems like we care more about the wildlife in Africa, than we care about African people. Just sayin'.

    May 19, 2010 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
  15. I HAVE TO KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OMG I HAVE TO KNOW!!! someone repost her post i have to read this!!!!!!! but also, they're gonna eat all those animals... seriously...

    May 19, 2010 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
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