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. John316

    I think they forgot to mention the "Recipe Booklet" that will accompany the Ark......

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

      That's sooo wrong but hilarious nevertheless! 🙂

      May 18, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joel Rowan

    Religion is fiction, but that isn't the point. Those two are freakin nuts!

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

    Oh...and why is Bob Mugabe always so shiney? He needs a powdering.

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

    Um, Christina posted a WHILE ago that she was joking.


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

      I'm also a tool and don't realize people fake names to try to stop the troll feeding, my bad

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

    Are you kidding??!!!!! They don't treat people with dignaty or respect! Why would you think they would treat animals with any kind of proper treatment or care !!!!

    May 18, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. David K

    From one psychotic nutjob to another.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Big Al

    After all these decades of this man being in power, there are some in the west who are just tired of it all. People get the government they deserve. And if 30 years the people of Zimbawe could not come up with something better, it stands to reason that they are not capable of it. Some in Africa blame the west for intervening in their affairs. Others blame us for doing notihng. It's a shame, what is going to happen to these poor creatures. But this is the fault of only the people of Zimbawe.

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

    Is he out of his mind? Oh well–at least North Koreans will be able to eat for a change...

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

    Its just animals being transfered, happens everyday in a America...Lets not get our panties in a bunch....geez i hate hippies....

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

    she was not being sarcastic- her name has Christ in it – she is probably from a delusional brainwashed sheep-baaaah
    baaaah- way to keep it hot lady

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

      Your reasoning (sarcasm or not) is just as lame/corny as your football team.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. rich1

    So the OP said she was kidding but folks didn't pick up on that.
    Apart from the 2 wicked dictators, does anyone care to wonder how they remain in control?
    When Gorbachov changed the world by getting rid of the Berlin Wall, how do you think he did it?
    Do you think he just had a change of mind? Or do you think there was a change of heart generally within the Politburo?
    How do dictators stay in power? Possibly it suits whomever surrounds him to have it that way.
    Kim Jong has supporters who like the power they have and thats why he fronts his regime, same for the idiot Mugabe.
    He must be suffering from either Alzhimers or maybe syphilis as someone suggested, so who keeps him in there?

    May 18, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Karen K Baker

    A 7,000 mile trip for these captive animals, how heartless! And to Christina, there is nothing honorable about terrorizing and perhaps killing these poor helpless animals! And exactly what sinners are you referring to in your post?
    This is not biblical, it's criminal!

    May 18, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sam16

    How can the world still live with itself knowing that this tyrant, Mugabe, is still in power? Why havent the major (and regional) powers taken quick and decisive steps to remove him, so that Zimbabwe can return to the bread basket that it was? How is it that the United Nations convenes again and again, without any resolution calling for his removal? How is it that the United States can move to remove Saddam Hussein, but let this lunatic continue to reap mayhem and murder on his own people (and now, evidently, other species) for his own idiotic and megalomaniac desires? Where is Obama on this issue? does any one really care? Is it because this is Africa, and who cares about Africa? where is the International Criminal Court? crazy world.....

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

      How is it that you can sleep in the night without thinking you lost everything that was good in your life to the toss of a dime?

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

    Even trade.
    Africa gets more land mines, grenades, AK47's & plenty of ammo.
    N.Korea gets a great hot lunch.
    Sounds good.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. noah himself

    very entertaining read. it's always lovely to see how many different ways there are to diss someone.
    personally, i had a hard time detecting any sarcasm in what was said (by christina), but then again that's sometimes hard to do when dealing purely in textform, and more importantly she's already posted, herself, that she was joking.

    the whole story, to me, is surreal. but it does seem like a very mugabe-esque move, sending 2 of every animal to north korea. you'd think if he really was trying to do something good, he might at least send them somewhere else. not much of a step up, from zim to n. korea, is it?

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