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. Ed

    It was also noted that Robert Mugabe, in cooperation with Heinz, Del Monte and Kraft foods, has also included 1600 cases of barbecue sauce and marinades for use with all those animals. Kim Jong Il had one response. "Yum!"

    May 18, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rick

    I hope they have lots BBQ sauce in N.K. that is a lot of meat , YUMMY!

    May 18, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Meow's Revenge

      Baby Stir-fried elephant tossed with some rice noodles, soy, garlic, and shallots...Sounds delicious!

      May 18, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mugabe is a Christian!

    t'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 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Angel

    I am a Christian, but I also know that these 2 men are horrendouse dictators and I don't think these animals are getting a good deal. We need to pray for the animals. In fact, why is this being done. What is the gesture's purpose. Is this a pact between these 2 dictators? It is scary, not what Christina was thinking. What were you thinking?

    May 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Angel

    P.S. I mean to say It is scarey and what was Christina thinking?

    May 18, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. NetReacher

    Looks like fresh meat is coming to an already starving population.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Meow

    Rap Cat likes the idea. When asked to comment on the topic he said, and I quote, "Meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow!"

    May 18, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. kenn

    I´m begining to ask myself, who is smatter here christina or alot of you who fell for her BS? I hope she is,cause, i don´t see any reasonable and sane person make such an idiotic comment.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. !

    Toy Story 2 was ok.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • ?

      I liked the first Toy Story better

      May 18, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jeff

    Those N. Koreans finally found something to eat

    May 18, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Amy Marie Parker

    I beleive the people that the outraged people are speaking for the animals who have no voice. This is not your usual gift each living breathing beating heart mammal just like us has the right to live well and and in healthy condtions. Each being should have a fighting chance to take a baby from a mother to young is not humane! This has nothing to do with counrtries or religion. It's the fact of Life get one sometime.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Meow

      My dogs say, "Arf arf and stuff." Then they wag their tails with no clue that I just got a recipe for them.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • let's be real

      Well said. However, when it gives you an opportunity to "talk about God" or "talk against God" people will do it. Idiots come from all corners... and then you have those that spew "let's eat those animals" BS. I bet you if we were talking about America there wouldn't be any of that because we are oh-so-civilized. I guess we forgot about Michael Vick already.

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

      I love me some me

      May 18, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Meow

      Of course, it's a little better with some "she" mixed in.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ledley

    I hope they catch you Christina and ship you out there, narrow minded troll

    May 18, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Azgard2274

      Cristina replied on the thread that she was being sarcastic.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. .

    What makes these animals so precious from chickens, pigs, fish, and cows that we eat each day?

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

      They're less tasty, for one. For another, we can breed cows and pigs and chickens to our hearts content. Breeding a white rhino is a much harder task. Many of the reserve animals are on the verge of population collapse anyway, so taking away 2 of each reduces their species' chances of survival. Both nations are pretty much flat broke, starved and international pariahs... it's an ill conceived plan on every level.

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

      The animals you are speaking of breed like rats. The gestation period of an elephant is 22 months! And that is just for one,not a whole pack of critters like those you speak of.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • let's be real

      There is no difference. I personally wouldn't eat a dog or a cat or any animal not on your list, but that's just because I never had the desire or appeal to do so (or maybe perhaps because of the values we hold for these animals in this country). Doesn't disgust me or appeal to me either way.

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

      So by your logic, it is ok to harm beings that breed like rabbits on viagra. So Mugabe is a good person after all, he only harms africans, and we all know africans breed like rats. I think All countries should start doing this to control their population.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dan

    Kim Jong the second? What happend to Kim Jong the first?

    May 18, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Angel

    to FU-qgod – well you can shoot me off to anywhere in space, because I know when I die I will be in heaven. It is really comforting to know where you are going after you die. God loves you, even if you don't believe in him.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • .

      That's why he will put people in hell, because he loves them oh so very much. Your reasoning skills are in worse condition than those animals condition after Kim is done with them.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • dawn

      I agree with you Angel.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
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