The First Lady of Zimbabwe, Grace Mugabe has reportedly settled a debt in the most unconventional form, as she paid China in animals, literally.
The Democratic Republic of Congo had purchased military uniforms from China, and Mugabe had helped in settling the debt by sending animals to China. The two countries have always had close ties, stemming back to when Zimbabwe helped them squash a rebel uprising in 1997.
Grace sent a “menagerie of safari animals to a Chinese wildlife park to pay for military uniforms for the DRC”, according to The Times.
The collection is said to include 35 elephant calves, eight lions, a dozen hyenas and a giraffe. One elephant is estimated to cost between $40,000 and $60,000. The elephants were reportedly captured at the at the Hwange National Park, and were flown out on a Boeing 747.
Wildlife officials in Zimbabwe have defended the move, saying the country’s parks were overburdened. As of last year, they were 80,000 elephants in Zimbabwe, but the parks could only cater for a little over 40,000.