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. Chupacabra

    oh yea, we should trust Zimbabwe's professional judgment. Riiiight. N Korea can't even FEED its own people and he's ordering animals? Those people need to revolt and drag that dictator out into the street and shoot him, like Romania did with Ceauşescu.

    May 19, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Maybe they are importing food. Just kidding. Relax.

      May 19, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • MILLARB

      And we should trust Americas judjment? last time i checked you guys have the biggest enviromental disaster ever, heard they were talking about shooting some mud in the hole next, hahaha it'd be funny if it wasn't so tragic.

      May 20, 2010 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
    • EJK

      Uhhh... MILLARB, BP is a British company.

      May 20, 2010 at 6:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Heh... The current leak in the gulf isn't even CLOSE to the largest environmental disaster ever. Yeah, it needs to be fixed, but compared to stuff like Chernobyl, the Aral Sea, Minimata, and so on, it's tiny. Try again.

      May 20, 2010 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Linking a story about North Korea buying exotic animals to the BP oil disaster in only 2 steps... Kevin Bacon would be impressed.

      May 20, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ME3

    LOL...no the animals will be fine...just ignore the dead giraffe...that wasn't do to substandard zoo's...it just ate some bad kimchi

    May 19, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cieje3

      Yum, elephant.. The other other other white meat. J/K

      May 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Terrible idea sending these animals to Kim.. Hes just going to eat them.

      May 20, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John Freeman

    Hope Christina doesn't spot this!!!

    May 19, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ME3

    @John LMAO!!!!

    May 19, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dan

    Never heard of a recipe with elephant meat, but the North Koreans are about to invent one.

    May 19, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • KP

      ITS THE MILK NOT THE MEAT

      May 20, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. Cieje3

    "But Chadenga said Zimbabwean officials have determined the animals are not being put in danger by the shipment." And the trauma of the 18mo. baby elephants being ripped away from thier mothers while still nursing will have no effect on them either.. (watch your step or you might fall into my SAR-CHASM!) {Elephants nurse for 4 YEARS fyi..}

    May 19, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Stickymouse

    There will be no revolt over this or anything like this. The average North Korean citizen has little to no concept of anything going on other than what the NK propaganda ministers are spewing. They only know fear, hunger and dispair. If there ever is a revolution there, it will be because of one of these things, not over some "gift" from one despot to another, which in reality is probably only cover for some sort of fraud or smuggling operation.

    May 19, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. kado

    Should have sent the crap and kept the elephants!

    May 19, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ruffnutt

    only 10k...you could totally part that elephant out and double you money easy.

    May 19, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. rad

    This makes me weep for these animals who have not control over this situation.

    May 19, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hun Grey

      They shouldnt taste so good though!

      May 19, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cooper2005

    This is so wrong....baby elephants usually are not even weened from their mothers until two years of age...."As a minimum, the African elephant calf is entirely dependent (emotionally and physically) on his/her mother for three to five years."

    These poor calves will be so traumatize!!! My heart aches for them!!!

    May 19, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. VB

    Seems the corrupt politicians of Zimbabwe are getting desperate to raise some cash. Hopefully they are out of power soon.

    May 19, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rachel

    Absolutely disgusting! No value on life.

    May 19, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      Well, they are getting the animals because they, in their own way, think the animals are cool or whatever. But that doesn't mean they aren't mislead sociopaths.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. InkyFord

    In a related story, Kim Jong has ordered 600 gallons of bbq sauce, 55 gallons of tartar sauce and 1,000 gallons of ketchup.

    May 19, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • TacoKisses

      Dude, thats hilarious!

      May 20, 2010 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • KP

      ONLY IF THAT WERE OIL OF THE SEA FLOOR

      May 20, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  15. Martaamos

    They better check for radiation on this trip. Sounds like a yellow cake transfer.

    May 19, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
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