May 19th, 2010
02:59 PM ET

Reports: 'Noah's Ark' baby elephant gift costs $10,000

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.

North Korea is paying $10,000 for each of the two young elephants it is getting from Zimbabwe in what had been dubbed a "Noah's Ark" wildlife gift, according to reports from Zimbabwe’s capital on Wednesday.

Vitallis Chadenga, Zimbabwe’s parks chief, said the elephants and other animals are being shipped from Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park to North Korea as part of a simple business transaction and are not a gift from President Robert Mugabe to North Korea’s Kim Jong Il, according to a posting on Earth Times.

Conservationists have criticized the shipment of the animals, which is said to include rhinos, cheetahs and lions as well as the 18-month-old elephants. The conservationists say that even if the animals survive the 7,000-mile journey from Harare to Pyongyang, they are unlikely to fare well in North Korea’s climate or what they call its “substandard” zoos.

But Chadenga said Zimbabwean officials have determined the animals are not being put in danger by the shipment.

“From our professional judgment, these people have the capacity to handle these animals," he told a news conference in Harare, according to the Earth Times report.

But at least one giraffe in an early shipment of animals has died, according to a Radio Australia report.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s Eyewitness News website reported that Zimbabwe is considering animal sales to at least five other countries.

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Filed under: Animals • North Korea • Zimbabwe
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. KP


    May 20, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. KP


    May 20, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. Irving

    More concerning is that Zimbabwe seems to be courting North Korea. North Korea has be a de-stabilizing influence in the asian region for decades, and even today is instigating more trouble. Any friend of North Korea bears watching!

    May 20, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. GE

    Considering all the things going on in N. Korea and Zimbabwe it is ridiculous that this is getting so much coverage. What about covering the people in these two countries who can not afford food. The people who are brutalized for speaking up about the injustice in these countries. The people who have their land stolen and given to people who have no idea how to farm it, leading to more poverty and starvation. This is so minor compared to everything else in these two countries but it is covered as the biggest story in either of the countries. The news media has their priorities on what is important all mixed up.

    May 20, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. Kim Jong Il

    What you all complain for? I will killa you. Elephant tasty. Giraffe tasty. Yum yum. Where is my diaper?

    May 20, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. TheChipHitsTheFan

    Time for Mugabe to go away... by whatever means. He and Kim define despotism. They need to share a quaint cyanide lunch.

    May 20, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ABC

    I speculate there must be some other business going on between these two countries.

    May 22, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. elephant

    that's entertaining

    May 22, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
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