North Korean national zoo, sometimes called Pyonyang Central zoo, is located near Mountain Taesong, Pyongyang. It was established under the order of Kim Il-sung, grandfather of Kim Jon-Ung, the current leader of the North Korea. It has over 5000 wild animals of total 650 species, covers area of around one kilometer square. It has also many gift animals including an elephant, was donated by Ho Chi Minh, the revolutionary leader of Vietnam in 1959. All of the elephants in zoo in present days are descended from the hero elephant.  Kim Il-sung later criticized the zoo as "the capitalist" because of the numerous foreign animals and ordered only to keep local ones. However, they kept the foreign animals and were given around 400 from various travelers and heads of the state.  Jonas Wahlström, director and swedish citizen contributed a significant amount of animals; thus, in the gift animal from Mr Jonas is kept in the Animal museum, which was opened in 1985. According to the report by the Daily Telegraph, they have a parrot which can squawk "Long live the Great leader, comrade Kim Il-sung" in english. Because of the ban of dog ownership in North Korea, the national zoo is the only place to see a dog, the dog's pavilion draws lots of visitors.The zoo includes Schnauzers, German Shepherds, Shih tzus and Saint Bernards. In 2014, the renovation work began, after two years the zoo reopened in july. The zoo is criticized by Lonely Planet as well as Asian times. Lonely Planet describes the zoo as depressing and uninspiring place; best to be avoided. Also it is believed that many rare species are kept only in the central zoo. 

 

 

A photo was taken from www.bbc.co.uk 

 

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