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. ME3

    The people are starving in N are they going to feed animals?

    May 18, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • 7MAR

      If they are hungry, they will eat the animals.

      May 19, 2010 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. Am

    Oh goodness. what is the purpose of doing this if a majority of the animals will not survive the journey. Really?! If anyone in N Korea wants to visit those animals in Zimbabwe they can, thats why we have planes. I know that sounds ignorant, but it just bothers me how people can be so insensative. To put these animals through that type of stress of their journey only to arrive to a location where it has been deemed unfit for them is ridiculous.

    PS: Christina, stop giving us Christians bad reputations... please

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


      May 18, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeJay

      Am, don't worry about Cristina to give Christians a bad"re doing a fine job of that all by yourself. How
      did you get to be such and ignoramus!!??

      May 19, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. me

    hey renjl1 Im sure you're talking about John Lennon who was not a dictator but a member of the Beatles and latter webt out on his own!!

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

      no i ment Lenin

      May 18, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Wow

    Really? I don't see the point of this article. Big deal animals are being shipped from one dictator to another. Who cares? And everyone commenting on how bad these people are, they are not even harming the animals. The beloved capitalism of most westerns (BP) has killed thousands of animals, let's point out how evil capitalism is and how many jobs and animals they have killed by their greed.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • renji1

      i concur

      May 18, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachy007

      OK – let's suppose that he hasn't bankrupted the country, isn't responsible for the collapse of the economy, destroyed the farming industry, isn't responsible for the MURDER and unlawful eviction of the white farmers with a ficticious "land redistribution" plan and then we can talk about gifting animals to anyone. Especially North Korea. If he was going to give them something, it should been an invitation to blow him off the face of the Earth. They'd comply and good riddance.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • dawn

      You would think it was a big deal if you spent 22 months pregnant with a baby elephant and then they sent your baby to be cared for by someone who doesn't even care about humans.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. DVK

    Guys, Christina has successfully trolled all of you. Now move on.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Marge

    Bobb, I will pray for you!!!! You will need it on your way to hell.

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

      Amen, fellow God-fearing Christian. Everyone elss will burn in Hell.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wow

      Wow, god fearing religions of the world (judaism, islam, christianity, etc.) are so peaceful and loving of human race, and do not judge unless be judged. Has the entire tea party started to comment on this one little article?

      May 18, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • renji1

      well said

      May 18, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ralph

      what you should do Marge is stop praying and start doing something constructive with your life. Idiot christian and your time wasting praying. If there is a hell you will be joining bob there for condemning him.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sal Gubanali

    He should have sent JungleBunnies instead......

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

      And the flood gates are officially open. This article will be closed for comment in an hour...

      May 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marge

      Sal Gubanali; he should have sent you a brain.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachy007

      You do know where the "Jungle" is eh? Because it's not in Africa... You do know this right? Or are you one of those people who also think that Africa is a country... Probably.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zebula


      May 18, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yolanda

      Rachy007 you are an idiot. Madagascar? Congo?

      May 18, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • 5abiAv8r


      May 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • CArly Alomon

      Not enuf crack in Korea.

      May 19, 2010 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  8. lady

    And what about the people in Korea and Zimbabwe? Still no help for them? Oh I forgot, because they aren't fuzzy animals no one cares about the tragedy and hopelessness they face every day from these two tyrants.

    Christina, I will pray that God will give you some knowledge so you don't make the rest of us sound so ignorant. But as a Christian, I forgive you.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jono

    N. Korea is so broke that some of these animals are probably destined for Kim's dinner table.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Stickymouse

    Why does this smell like some sort of wierd smuggling operation? Drugs, weapons, slaves...who knows what these nut-jobs are up to.

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


      OMG That's what I was thinking!!! Trojan Horse of slaves... LOLOLOL

      May 18, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. rm

    I agree with Christina except everything she said after "figures"

    May 18, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Marcia


    May 18, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. db

    "Tastes like chicken", said Kim Jong II

    May 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tom

    Christina, you are simply ignorant. Bible or no bible. You are ignorant.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Colby

    I suspect "Christina" is an employee of Mugabe's staff, and "Christina" needs to show beloved dictator how well his generous gift is being viewed by the world masses, or else "Christina" gets a midnight jail trip... or worse...

    May 18, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
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