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. Zekeyia

    Kim's dinner menu:
    Zebra, well done with a side of antelope.
    Both Chistina and Jimmy are more than a lttle left of center.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rachy007

    Zimbabwe WAS the jewel of Africa and Mugabe has nearly ruined all hopes of a bright future for her citizens.
    I've been to Hwange – a paradise on Earth. He ought to leave well-enough alone.

    Mugabe should succomb to his Syphallis soon... Hopefully.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. larry simpson

    as hungry as the north koreans are i'm sure they will feed many people

    May 18, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bill

    I wonder - are the conservationist types concerned that the animals will be eaten? This is about North Korea...

    May 18, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joncar

    I've been thru a Korean winter. If the animals survive the flight ... the cold will kill them.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. buffy

    Jimmy – You are just as CRAZY as Christina!! Let me tell you something people...These two dictators care nothing for any bible, or Christians morals or ethics. If they did, their countries would be in different conditions than what they are. They care about greed. STOP TRYING TO CONVERT THE UNCONVERTABLE!!! STOP TRYING TO THROW GOD, JESUS OR ANY OTHER INVISIBLE MAN THAT LIVES IN THE SKY ON OTHER PEOPLE!!!

    May 18, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. neci

    I for one are stick and tired of the crazy people who claim to be christians. Stop giving us Christians a BAD REP. I think this is one of the craziest ideas that ever came dowm the pike. These two so called leaders can't take care of the people in their country and now they are going to protect and care for animals. Pleeeze. How insane

    May 18, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bull

    The people of N.Korea will eat these animals.They eat dogs .

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

      A substantial number of North Koreans subsist on tree bark for part of the year, so inefficient is the economy. All the best food going to Kim and his cronies and the army that keeps him in power of course. This isn't communism, this is the very worst kind of imperial feudalism that communism was supposed to replace.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tiffany

    This transaction is not any of our business. Americans complain about also being pulled into other countries affair, well this is non of our business. STAY FOCUS!

    May 18, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa too

      Tell that to all the people fleeing from those countries and seeking the help of the US – seems everyone want to "use" the US when it's convenient.

      Shut down the damn borders and put a moratorium on immigration – in case you haven't noticed (along with Christina, apparently), there are kids starving in our own back yards and we're busy letting in more mouths to feed. When my grandparents and great-grandparents (and probably those of every US citizen posting here) came over, they were sent back to their originating countries if they had so much as a zit. They needed to either be sponsored by a job or a family member as well as exhibiting absolutely flawless health.

      Remember, abuse of humans evolves from the abuse of animals – in the case of these two maniacs, it appears to work both ways.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. neci

    Even Disney World will take better care of these animals.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ms Foster

    Christina, the DISKLIKE button would be rather appropriate here in response to your comment.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mugabe Christian

    It's funny how when dictators like Sadam harm their people, he is looked upon as an evil muslim, and we invade the entire country. But when christian dictators starve the entire population of their country, all these religious christian nutjobs, conservatives can do is talk and pretend that he isn't christian. Let's invade Zimbawe and call him a Christian extremist/terrorist/hatemonger, or else shut your christianity crap and keep on living your life as an "honest christian".
    -This proves all organized religions eventually become crap that they are now-

    May 18, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |

      Hmmm I am christian i am not a dictator Yes i see some problems in christians but are christians gods?No We follow our god so Mugabe Christiana (and Christina Beat The Internet This isnt a joke i know one you insolent fool) what the heck!?!!?!?Your opionion is worthless and pitafull wait take out a part,you are not worthy of being pitafull.

      May 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darryl

      You are full of crap. Saddam wasn't looked at like a crazy Muslim – He was a crazy dictator possibly looking for nukes. Period. No one said it was because of his religion. Don't write anything if you don't know anything. Mugabe can't hurt the U.S. or its allies – so he isn't being replaced.

      May 18, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. BrickellPrincess

    People in Africa are so backwards. No wonder they have not evolved and what little they have has been given to them by the Europeans.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Fernando

    Christina is obviously under Mugabe's orders to post a positive comment.
    There is no rational way of making this stupid gift look ok.
    North Korea is a poor country. Only the army lives well.
    Maintaining these animal is going to cost a lot of money that they don't have. The animals will get sick and they will die.
    Or they will be eating by all those malnourished soldiers.
    The UN should invade Zimbabwe and save the people from this crazy nut.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. db

    Where do idiots like Zimbawean President Robert Mugabe to his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong Il come from?

    May 18, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachy007

      We know that Mugabe has suffered with Syphallis for a long time.... Maybe Kim has too? The holes in the brain could definately explain these two crazies.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
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