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. Jimmy

    Why is everyone beating up on Christina who is God fearing? Mugabe is giving a wondrous gift on biblical proportions to Kim. Yes, he is a tyrant but the Lord will touch his heart. We must love him and teach him the ways of Christ! All of you give up hope too soon.!

    May 18, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Narizona

      Shut up idiot! The only heart that is going to be touched is from those poor animals when the North Koreans realized they all are death. Moron.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • J.Crobuzon

      Hey, Christina changed her name to Jimmy!

      May 18, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • wilson

      I would like to touch both of their hearts, courtesy of special forces snipers

      May 18, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • paul

      while you are giveing kim religion , he will be giveing you all his rockets warheads included.

      May 18, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marcus68

      N. Korea can't even feed thier own people, how will they feed teh animals?

      May 19, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • MikeJay

      Crawl out of your Bible's fantasy world and look around, you idiot. The only two animals that should be shipped anywhere
      are Mugabe and Kim Jung Sicko!! That pair belongs in a zoo!

      May 19, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. renji1

    its not that i dont agree that the two are horrible people.. but dictator is a matter of opinion... they say Lenin was a dictator but thats completly false to me

    May 18, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joe

    lol get trolled

    May 18, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Marge

    This has nothing to do with the bible or sinners. This has to do with the welfare of animals that are too young to withstand the trip to this country. Did you not read the article? It clearly stated that these elephants need to nurse until they are at least four years old; and the facility is not equp to deal with the other species.
    I find it hard to believe that animals donated to an ill equip zoo is going to spread ths salvation or truth that this country needs.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. savebernards

    I am so sad to think of the short life these poor animals will have. It sickens me.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bobb

    this is proof that your retched lies written in that piece of garbage you call the holy bible is ruining our world! Damn your religions and damn your religious stories that influence this type of behavior!

    May 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      Anything to twist your heathanistic views of religion Bob. Go back to your pentagram and light a few more candles for your lord and savior Satan.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • renji1


      May 18, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • ZakB

      Man you have some serious anger issues.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nak

      I highly doubt this has anything to do with religion.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • ZakB

      Bobb is your last name Mugabe?

      May 18, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • paul

      are you saying robert and kim are building a ark, and are going to furnish it with all those animals, which one has declared him self the captain and which one will be first mate.

      May 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeJay

      Right on, Bobb!!! I do hope that you include The torah and the quran in your list of trash bins, though...both of them
      are equally deep in trash.

      May 19, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Norm

    This is a sham. North Korea is in such dire straits, these animals will food on crazy Kim's table the second they get off the boat. is there any doubt in anyone's mind about how insane some of these "leaders" are?

    May 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jimmy

    God will surely look over these animals, even if they do originate from an evil man and heading to another evil man. Love and Jesus will prevail.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • concerned reader

      Jimmy & Christina, Your god hasn't looked after the people of this country, so I doubt he or she will be looking out for the animals.

      May 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Steve

    Dan G is absolutely correct,seems that Christina is totally uninformed about the world..................I guess she can't see Russia from her kitchen window.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lana

    I can't believe CNN would post such an uninformed comment. Christina probably believes Joseph Stalin was a great librarian. *Sigh* What is sadder than well meaning Christians getting duped by anything with slight religious context, is that people are more concerned with the lives of innocent animals rather than the lives of innocent people in BOTH of the countries. While I do agree that the animals losing their semi freedom to go be in a zoo not up to par is terrible and avoidable. Kim and Mugabe are far worse to the human race.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mike


    May 18, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. renji1

    lay off Stalin, lana

    May 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • youreanidiot

      Go marry Christina, your an idiot as well.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • J.Crobuzon

      Yeah, he was a great librarian.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Gerialdo

    If ignorance is bliss, Christina must be the happiest person on the planet.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Miichael

    Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

    Google or Youtube "PETA elephant" and take a look what is going on in our country. Lets fix that before we complain about other countries.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. cw

    President Mugabe has the right as president to do as he wish with these gifts to Kim Jong. The problem comes when the other countries that want to keep all of Africa under their control and in poverty .The west should stay out of Africa's way unless they go in to help for the benefit of Africa an not for greed.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimmy

      Mugabe has every right to do what he wishes with his animals. The West needs to stop keeping the Africans down. Sub-Saharan Africa has never produced a successful self-reliant civilization and this is because the West keeps them down and tells Africans what to do. Shame on you!

      May 18, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachy007

      Are you for real? Do you know ANYTHING about what has beentaking place in Zimbabwe for the last decade? Get a clue and then "pitch in".

      I have friends from Zim who's lives and careers have been RUINED at the hands of Mugabe. Seriously, Get a clue.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • dawn

      Okay, why don't we have the Gates just keep their 10 billion here also instead of helping Africa since you don't want us to be involved with them?

      May 18, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • DocWIN0

      . o O

      May 19, 2010 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
    • MikeJay

      The only "right" Mugabe has (or should have) is a ten yard head start in front of some safari hunter's gun sight!

      May 19, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
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