Zimbabwe Plans To Sell Elephants, Jackals, Cats To North Korea

Zimbabwe plans to sell animals including elephants, jackals and wild cats to a zoo in North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, according to Vitalis Chadenga, director of the African nation’s parks authority.The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is also studying applications from Japan, Mozambique and three other unidentified nations to buy species, Chadenga said by phone today from the capital, Harare.

“We don’t just export wildlife without first ascertaining if the conditions they will be held in are safe and we consider that conditions in Pyongyang will be suitable,” he said. Under both domestic and international law, Zimbabwe is allowed to sell wildlife to foreign nations, Chadenga said.Among the animals being sent to North Korea, an impoverished, communist nation, are elephants, giraffes, zebras, jackals, hyenas and civet cats, none of which are endangered in Zimbabwe, Chadenga said.


Hyenas Cooperate, Problem-Solve Better Than Primates


Spotted hyenas may not be smarter than chimpanzees, but a new study shows that they outperform the primates on cooperative problem-solving tests.Captive pairs of spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) that needed to tug two ropes in unison to earn a food reward cooperated successfully and learned themaneuvers quickly with no training. Experienced hyenas even helped inexperienced partners do the trick.When confronted with a similar task, chimpanzees and other primates often require extensive training and cooperation between individuals may not be easy, said Christine Drea, an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University.

Drea’s research, published online in the October issue of Animal Behavior, shows that social carnivores like spotted hyenas that hunt in packs may be good models for investigating cooperative problem solving and the evolution of social intelligence. She performed these experiments in the mid-1990s but struggled to find a journal that was interested in non-primate social cognition.