Saturday, January 13, 2007

What's Up Doc?

From The Australian:

Kim Jong Il seeks monster bunnies

NORTH Korea has given a German pensioner a contract to supply the communist state with giant rabbits to help boost meat production and ease the country's severe food shortages.

The only problem for Karl Szmolinsky, who won a prize and worldwide fame for breeding German's largest rabbit - Robert, a 10.5kg bruiser the size of a dog - is that such huge rabbits consume vast quantities of food themselves as they grow.

Mr Szmolinsky, from Eberswalde, in the east of Germany, was contacted by the North Korean Embassy in Berlin in October after he attracted press coverage.

“They want to boost meat production. They’ve arranged for me to go to Pyongyang in April to advise them on setting up a breeding farm,” Mr Szmolinsky, who is 68 next month, told The Times.

He breeds German gray giants, which are among the world’s biggest rabbits, and sells his annual crop of 60 to 80 to other breeders in Germany for between € 200 ($330) and € 250.

He said that an attaché at the embassy came to his home and asked to see his rabbits. The diplomat was so impressed that he placed an order for eight females and four males, which were shipped to North Korea a few weeks later at a price of € 80 each.

Robert was among the first consignment. “I don’t know how many more they want and whether I’ll be getting any more orders,” Mr Szmolinsky said.

Read the rest here.

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