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. ruffnutt

    @RACHEL "Absolutely disgusting! No value on life" obviously you worng...the price is 10K.

    @martaamoos how much yellowcake you think a elephant can hold? i bet cha alot..

    May 19, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Pat

    WHAT is the matter w/ people! Maybe they could ship some people instead – at least they could complain or try to escape. The zoo's in the U.S. are bad enough I cannot imagine how horrible the conditions would be in Korea – North or South. Are they still selling dogs for dinner? Of course, Jack Hannah probably has a reason that this would be justified!

    May 19, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. emmelinegrace

    What has black got to do with anything? Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, to name a few, are my cousins twice removed!! " a man must not be judged by the color of their skin" but by how mean-spirited they are. Thank you TomCat, you must be green.

    May 19, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Siddharth

    How nice...diamonds to Asia, coated in hide...

    May 19, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. K19

    I hope the Int Community will block the shipment and put the animals back int teh wild where they belong. This just shows Zimbabwe is so broke that it is no going to sell its wild animals to get some cash.

    May 19, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bull

    So thats what was in those dumplings .

    May 19, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Billy

    Maybe we should write a letter of disapproval.

    May 19, 2010 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Will

    This is horrible. The US needs to get the EPA or some agency to step in and oversee this somehow. This is purely and obviously Zimbabwe government's way of getting some quick cash at the expense of its animals. There is no reason for them to sell these animals to North Korea and other countries. These animals will not fare well at all there.

    May 19, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • KP

      WELL THE FACT OV THE MATTER IS IF WE TRAIDE THEM ELPHANTS TO KOREA TO HELP CLEAN UP NATURAL DESASTERS LIKE THE OIL SPILL THE TIME IT TAKES TO CLEAN THAT UP THE BABYS WILL BE DEVELOPED ENUF AND FORE THE THOUGHT OV NATURE I THINK IT WOULD BE A GREAT MOVE FORE THE INVIROMENT

      May 20, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. Tey12

    Guys, The Zimbabwean govt is run by amazingly stupid idiots, trust me nothing good is going to come out of this. Us Zimbabweans dont even take our government seriously anymore, they have the combined IQ of a four year old. Since they ruined our economy might as well take our wildlife too, it only makes sense...Besides, I heard Mugabe's house is due for an upgrade anyway.

    May 20, 2010 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
    • ketron

      ur really dumb

      May 20, 2010 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  10. Suzie M

    I'm not surprised that a giraffe has already died. Given that they are sending 18 month old elephants over, whoever is in charge of this operation shouldn't be. An elephant of that age is not fully weaned yet and forages alone will not supply the proper amount of protein for the animal without it being supplemented with its mother's milk. Those elephants will die. It has happened before when people try to save some cash by shipping adolescents instead of adults just to have them die since they were weaned too early. Such a shame.

    May 20, 2010 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. DC

    I have no problem with sending the animal to North Korea as long as they are cared for properly. At the rate we are sending species into oblivion, the day will come when many species will exists only in zoos. We need to have as many places as possible where the gene pools will be maintained.

    This is one case where politics and ideology needs to be left out of the equation.

    May 20, 2010 at 4:00 am | Report abuse |
    • KP

      IF THEIR WOS A NEW SPECIES WOULD YOU SEND IT TO THE MOON IN FACT LATS BUILD A ZOO UP THEIR

      May 20, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  12. david hurst

    Neither country has showed much sense: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100513/ap_on_re_af/af_zimbwabwe_north_korea_elephants

    May 20, 2010 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
  13. BILLY

    Last time I checked Mugabe has been shipping human cargo for a while now. All able bodied humans have been sold to every point on earth. Look at the human cargo shipped to London, USA, South Africa , Australia etc.
    This is not the first shipment of elephants from Zimbabwe. The only difference is where this shipment is going this time around. Of all places, Korean Zoo. Very appropriate though.

    May 20, 2010 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  14. TacoKisses

    Unfortunately this is a one way ticket to disaster. North Korea is like the black hole, once you get sucked in, you'll never be seen again. That kareoke singing knucklehead should be shot on site. I guess Matt and Trey were right when they wrote Team America. Kim Jung Il is a "lil ronery I'm sooo sad so sad and ronery.. it's kinda sirry but not rirry"
    He won't be lonely anymore!!!!..HA

    May 20, 2010 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  15. Linda

    This makes me so mad for so many reasons. African elephants are not meant to live in Asia. A giraffe already died. 2 baby elephants ripped from their mothers is horribly traumatic for both. Unless of course their mothers were killed by poachers. These 2 poor baby elephants are already dying. Without their mothers milk they are already weak. The trip will kill them. Is there any international agency that can put a stop to this?! Zimbabwe needs to learn how to care for their wildlfe not kill it. My heart breaks for these elephants and all the animals involved.

    May 20, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • KP

      THEY GROW WITH THEIR INVIROMENT BUT IF IN FEAR THEY LOSE MOMENTEM TO HEALTHY LIFE

      May 20, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
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