Pyongyang Zoo in Pictures
Pyongyang zoo, or the Korea Central Zoo as it officially known, is North Korea’s national zoo. DPRK founder Kim Il Sung ordered its construction in 1959 at the base of Mt Taesong in what was then the outskirts of Pyongyang. It was fully renovated and re-opened in the summer of 2016.
Rocky Road Travel were the first to gain entry to the new Pyongyang zoo. Here’s a sneak peak of what we saw.
The zoo started off life with only a few badgers but soon after opening it received its first “gift animals”. Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh gifted the zoo a single elephant and all elephants in the zoo today are descended from this one.
Perhaps the most fascinating part of your visit to Pyongyang zoo is reading about the origin of each animal in the zoo.
According to the zoo, Ho Chi Minh considered the elephant a hero in the revolutionary movement as it assisted carrying weapons in the fight against French colonialism.
Other gift animals came in the form of a Panda from Mao Zedong, zebras and ostriches from Tanzania, orangutans from Indonesia and another elephant from Laos. Other interesting characters like Colonel Qaddafi and Robert Mugabe donated livestock over the years.
In recent years and prior to the reopening of the zoo, shipments of animals came from Russia, the Netherlands and South Africa.
Dogs and a Smoking Chimp
Perhaps the most popular attraction we saw was the dog enclosure. Dog ownership is growing but still minuscule and restricted to the elite in North Korea. However, the number of dogs in the zoo show people’s fondness for the animals. Kim Jung Un himself donated the schnauzers, poodles, German shepherds and a Chihuahua.
There’s also descendants of a Jindo dog that was presented by South Korean President Kim Dae Jong at the height of the Sunshine Policy in 2000.
Oh and there’s also a smoking chimpanzee but we won’t go into too much detail on that.