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. Fountama

    This should be stopped because we all know they're going to be eaten...

    May 18, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • let's be real

      Keep spewing those ignorant thoughts.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • dawn

      Spewing ignorant thoughts? I'd say Fountama is spot on. That man can't be trusted.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • let's be real

      First off, Fountama, it's not very clever to use my response. Also, I don't spew ignorant racism like you with your "eating animals" comment.

      Second off, Dawn, I agree he can't be trusted, but I believe the point of his comment was to use the "koreans eat animals" as part of his/her joke, which I found to be quite irresponsible. At least my comment wasn't racially motivated.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fountama

      Hey let's be idiot...can't understand sarcasm when you read it. Call me a racist? Last time I checked racism is, well applied to those who make disparaging remarks based on race. Think before you type Ace...

      May 18, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • dawn

      Let's really be real.
      Which is most likely to happen?
      a. The animals will reach a ripe and happy old age
      b. They will get eaten
      yeah, I think b. That may not be the intention, but it's more likely than a. will ever be with that guy.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • let's be real

      I would have to say "eating animals" seems to be the disparaging remark here. Unless, of course, you can provide me some backup to you not making a racial reference. If so I apologize. Otherwise, I take it face value. As for sarcasm, you can't really tell... just look at all the commenters on "Christina's" post. That should tell you how well everyone here handles "sarcasm." That includes me. Can you say that about yourself or are you still on your pedestal?

      May 18, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • TellMenolies

      People,to say that these animals will be eaten is not a racist remark, the people of north Korea are starving to death and that's why people keep saying's not,I repeat,it is not a racial comment on their culture....they don't have enough food in North Korea....

      May 18, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lisa too

    Remember that even the people that run the sanctuary on which these animals live are BEGGING for intervention – so as to the (paraphrased) comment that the US butts in – please re-read. The caretakers of these animals are ASKING for international help!

    May 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. let's be real

    My co-worker brought up a good point... Mugabe looks like Bill Cosby...

    J-E-L-L-O anybody?

    May 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fountama

      Keep spewing those ignorant thoughts...

      May 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • let's be real

      Wasn't my thought. Nice try, though. Keep showing your racism and ignorance.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fountama

      So how am I racist? Got proof? Huh, Ace...? Nice try, but throwing around unsubstantiated accusations like that makes you look like idiot. I think you need to get a manicure and have those calluses removed from your knuckles.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • let's be real

      That was my interpretation. Before you spew hate in return, think before you type. It works both ways, kiddo.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fountama

      Your interpretation and subsequent comment was way off base and vile. You forced me to defend myself. Regardless of whether you could interpret whether I was being sarcastic is kind of moot now since you offended me by callling me a racist. And you can be sure I will defend myself. My point still stands how AM I RACIST? WHAT DOES EATING ANIMALS HAVE TO DO WITH RACISM? You can tell the difference right? I'm sure even the Trollers here on this board can.
      I can assure you I'm on no pedastal. I'm just defending myself against the wrongfull comment you used against me.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. SIlly religions!

    go on waste your time praying and reading your stories in the bible. while you do this animals are being wiped out, oil is being spilled, people are being killed and displaced from their homes...etc etc. but at least you have your faith and are praying. at least you will end up in heaven right? Faith is what you have in things that don't exist.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • let's be real

      Interesting point... but are you doing something about it other than sitting behind your computer? Doubtful. I'm sure all those "religious people" have been doing a lot more than you have, believe me... and it doesn't count praying and reading the Bible.

      Your problem, like many others like you, is that you talk big like there's problems out there in the world that everyone else BUT you needs to be active in. Be honest with yourself... are you actively part of the solution or passively part of the problem? Change your name to Silly Tool before you get all angry over someone's SARCASTIC post... though it would've been nice had she made note of that earlier.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Gee, I don't consider reading the Bible a waste of time, particularly since there's a very real chance that the truth of why we're on this planet is contained in that book. What I consider a "waste of time" is to live out a useless existence on this planet trying in vain to make some money for a few decades, only to die, be turned to dust and scattered to the ground. Not even the memory of you will pass on to your grandchildren. If eternity isn't real, you might just as well have already died.

      May 18, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reynolds

      I agree with you. religions have clearly corrupted the more natural nature of people. What is so amazing is that you could tell some of the people here that the very bible that they read has been corrupted. The very person that authorized the the Bible. KING JAMES himself killed his mother and was and even in history noted for having male lovers.

      The foundation of the church and knowledge was to control people and to install fear. Fast forward to the the stripping of Africa's resources which have been on the plate and so many craving it up. Because it was the dark continent.. No one complained. Yes it is a 3rd world country but history is repeating itself. Everyone is caught up with the Middle east. While people are in the back door into Africa and setting up shop to in your face create a docile and controlled nation that will be the new slave labor for Korea and china.

      Would have thought that Africans would have learned by now. Make a deal with a few to sacrifice the mass.
      Same thing happen when they formed Isreal and moved in on Palistine

      May 18, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alb390

      You know whose out there fighting to save those animals, clean up your oil spills, feed the hungry, help heal the wounded....those silly religious people. Because (if you would have taken the time to listen, learn and educate yourself on what really goes on in sunday school) we are taught that honor, respect and love for your fellow man is the greatest thing above all. My religious views have spurred me to join Medecins Sans Frontiers (doctors without borders) as well as participate in habitat for humanity throughout high school and college. So dont knock religious teachings have inspired me to work to make this world a better place. What have you done?

      May 19, 2010 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  5. jnnyc

    It's going to be dinner time in North Korea. Anyone for elephant soup?

    May 18, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joy

    Why do Westerners feel they can have a say in the affairs of other countries? This list of banalities proves that Americans have too great a sense of priviledge which they sling around in every direction under the guise of concern for some animals they will forget tommorrow when a new brown person is persecuted then they'll jump on that bandwagon to make themselves feel oh so superior. Look at yourselves and question your own motives before judging other countries.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smartie01

      Joy...just because something exists does not mean it is ours to keep. that applies across the board. and let me guess, your not a US citizen correct? But you live here and reap the benefits of freedom.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • dawn

      If he took care of his people I would not mind him receiving the animals, although wherever you are from, you have to admit that he's not the nicest guy in the world to be giving gifts to. Are we the best people here in the states, heck no, there's good and bad in every lot of people. Most of us are just angered that the people in North Korea have absolutely no freedom to know anything about the rest of the world and we find that fundamentally wrong. Is that selfish? Really? I don' thing so.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joy

      Lets get real! This isnt about some animals at all. Its about two leaders neither of whom is white making a transaction that seems threatening to people who can't fathom anyone else having power except the U.S. And yes i was born and raised here but I am well aware of the foibles of this greedy nation.

      When Westerners want to show their humanity they save animals, not people. How humane is that? Not humane at all.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa too

      Joy, remember your comments next time your country (obviously, you are not a "westerner") cries to the US, or any other westernized country, for aid.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joy

      If you all are so angered about what is happening to the people in those countries why arent you posting your concerns about them? Why this tirade about some animals? Oh I forgot. Westerners think brown people and animals are one and the same.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • dawn

      What Joy? The main reason we are upset about the animals well being is BECAUSE we are are upset about the people's well being. What can we do though? Be part of the solution instead of just hurling insults at us. Tell us what we can do about the people there? We can't just go in and throw Kim Jong out on his ear like we'd love to.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • dawn

      I'm waiting for the solution Joy.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joy

      I'm glad you asked! I can't post links here but google Zimbabwe relief fund and you will find dozens of organizations that need help in their efforts to help the PEOPLE, not just monetarily either. There are LOTS of ways to help.

      May 18, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laurie

      Spot on... Americans need to stay focused on the tasks at hand in our immediate control. We cant stop these wingnuts and frankly we need to pick our battles. Meanwhile our own land and people are suffering. How about some righteous indignation for the animals and humans that suffer in our own backyards? The thought of them doing this exchange disgusts me but its not really for the US to intervene...not even our side of the world. Let some other country rush in and be the hero. We're kind of busy over here cleaning up an oil spill ;(

      May 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Meow

    Praise the great Mugabe! Praise the great Kim Jong Il. This has to be the best gift ever. The dynamic duo is making a positive difference in the world. Is there no end to the benevolence of these two democratic leaders of the free world?

    By the way, is it millions or thousands? I read those two numbers and they're quite different. I'm uninformed and too lazy to look it up.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Fu-q god

    We humans of this planet that know that god does not exist should take from this example and load all the of the religious followers on to a rocket 2 by 2 and shoot it into the sun! Any one opposed to this truly does not believe, if they did no one would care because they knew they would end up in heaven. Lets get on this one!!!!

    May 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • dawn

      wow, so kind and pleasant you are.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • dawn

      Glad to know you were there at the beginning of time so you can speak with such certainty. It's impossible for matter to ever have been created so it's actually as much of a fairy tale that we are even here by science as the idea that there is a God that made it happen. It's pretty ignorant to actually blast either side because either is quite possible and impossible at the same time.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles

      just becasue we don't fully understand how the universe works doesn't mean we need to make up sky creatures to explain it.

      May 18, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • saganhill

      Dawn, it is a fact that the universe is expanding which is in direct corrolation with the big bang. It did happen we just dont know the details yet. But that will come as we learn more. To say a god invented and made everything is plain christian lazyness and only makes people more ignorant...

      May 19, 2010 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  9. Smartie01

    Hey silly religions...somebody will read your post and pray for you...LOL

    May 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jms

    I don't know why people are so concerned; Kim Jong Il is going to eat the animals so their welfare is irrelevant.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. I love hating

    I only want to hear bad things about who the US hates. That confirms everything in life for me. If someone says something positive about people the US hate or remotely human about them, I will hate them immediately and call them crazy. I am not programmed by US media, I am free.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • dawn

      Man I hate people who hate hating haters who hate. It's too hateful.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • let's be real

      Too bad there isn't a like function, or you would get one.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Penny Baer

    Listen up people. At 2:29 Christina said she was only being SARCASTIC. Should we believe her?????

    May 18, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • let's be real

      Good question. Not so sure if she's behind the computer the whole time, but if she was it would've been nice had she made the comment sooner. Regardless of who wrote the comment, it was too little too late.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jon

    I think we should ship two of Christina to North Korea.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Meow

    Praise the great Mugabe! Praise the great Kim Jong Il. This has to be the best gift ever. The dynamic duo is making a positive difference in the world. Is there no end to the benevolence of these two democratic leaders of the free world?

    By the way, is it millions or thousands? I read those two numbers and they're quite different. I'm uninformed and too lazy to look it up.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Penny Baer

    disregard that I smell foul (name changing abilities, doubtful it was the real Christina)

    May 18, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Penny Baer

      I did not write that smell foul comment. Stop using my name, you moron!

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