The Pyongyang Zoo (조선중앙동물원), otherwise known as the Pyongyang Central Zoo or Korea Central Zoo, is located at the western foot of Mount Daesong in Pyongyang near the Revolutionary Martyr’s Cemetery.
Pyongyang Zoo History
Constructed in 1959, the zoo is the DPRK’s national and largest zoo. The zoo features many animals gifted by foreign leaders, such as an elephant from Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam, and a Jindo dog (national dog of Korea) from Kim Dae-Jung, the former of South Korean president. During 2016, the zoo underwent extensive renovations to modernize the facilities to improve the living conditions of the animals.
The zoo has a total of eight halls and 37 enclosures for animals, including those for reptiles, monkeys, dogs, elephants, giraffes and dwarf horses. The zoo covers an area of 100 hectares and features over 10,000 animals and over 800 species from all over the world. The Pyongyang Natural History Museum is also located on the Zoo grounds which displays wax prehistoric creatures and fossils collected within the DPRK.
Can you visit the Pyongyang Zoo?
Absolutely, but it’s not often visited during our scheduled group tours to North Korea. However, it is certainly possible to arrange your visit on an independent tour to the country. To do a complete visit of the zoo it’ll take 2 – 3 hours and is an excellent place to mingle with local North Koreans who are enjoying their time off.
Tickets can be purchased at the front gates of the Pyongyang Zoo and costs 15RMB or 2 euros per person, and an additional 15RMB or 2 euros per person to visit the natural history museum.
- The zoo also breeds and sells domesticated animals such as dogs and cats that are for sale for citizens. Pet ownership whilst still uncommon, has grown popular recently. The zoo also has an onsite veterinary who’s services are opened to the general public.
- The re-opening of the zoo in 2016 made global headlines when a smoking monkey was discovered by foreign tourists. The monkey has since quit smoking.
- There is a section of the zoo full of animals presented to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il by Jonas Wahlström who was the director of the Skansen Zoological Garden in Sweden. In the gift animal house, there are over 80 species of animals.
- There have been more than 300 species of animals donated by foreign heads of state to the Pyongyang Zoo mostly from other socialist states.