Pyongyang’s central zoo has been renovated and is attracting thousands of visitors every day. The attraction, however, isn’t the regular zoo animals — it’s the dogs.
Yes, elephants, giraffes, penguins and monkeys all have taken a backseat to the dozens of varieties of dogs, including schnauzers, German shepherds, Shih Tzus and Saint Bernards on display in the "dog pavilion."
Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un himself chipped in by giving the zoo its schnauzers, poodles, German shepherds and a Chihuahua.
Though somewhat shocking to those accustomed to thinking of dogs as companions or household pets, the zoo display may actually reflect an increasingly fond attitude toward dogs in North Korea. While dog meat is still a common dish in the hermit kingdom, China and South Korea, a small but growing number of North Koreans are also keeping canines as pets.
Pyongyang's central zoo was established in 1959 by King Jong-un’s grandfather Kim Il-sung.
Renovations for the new zoo began in 2014 as part of Kim's efforts to create more modern and impressive structures and leisure centers around the capital.
Interestingly, not long ago Kim promoted dog meat as a traditional "stamina food." Apparently, the entire state machinery has come together to promote the “super food.” Korean Central Television claims a reopened dog meat restaurant in Pyongyang is "being successful in making dog meat more unique."
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters