Animals in North Korea

Below you can find a complete list of North Korean animals. We currently track 155 animals in North Korea and are adding more every day!

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — commonly known as North Korea — is unusual in that it’s arguably the most politically and culturally isolated nation in the world. Due to the country’s lack of international cooperation and commitment to secrecy, less is known about North Korea’s wildlife and animals.

Animals of North Korea

Historically, the Korean Peninsula was a biodiversity hot spot and part of the Palearctic realm. But 50-plus years of regional strife has pushed North Korea’s environment into a unique state of “catastrophe,” and many area animal populations are feared extinct. Rapid deforestation has triggered severe flooding problems, and high-octane pollution is quickly choking wildlife into regional extinction.

Despite the unusual isolationist circumstances, scientists and researchers use data from other regional countries to compile dossiers and guesstimates about North Korea’s wild animals. But such reports should never be taken as gospel because we simply don’t have the facts.

The DMZ: North Korea’s Rare Conservation Hot Spot

There is one last hope for North Korea’s animals: the demilitarized zone that divides Korea, aka the DMZ.

Over the past half-century, the 38th parallel has become a unique wildlife haven. Forests have grown back in the area, and rare animals once thought lost are resurging in the people-free stretch of land.

Technically, the DMZ is not part of either North or South Korea. However, if authorities can develop collaborative conservation initiatives, the DMZ’s natural bounty may help jump-start North Korea’s ecosystem.

The Official National Animal

North Korea is one of the few nations that doesn’t have an official national animal, but the Chollima, a mythological winged horse, popular in many Asian mythologies, is a national symbol.

The country does have a national dog: the Pungsang. A rare canine breed, Pungsangs are hunting dogs that originated in the Kaema highlands of North Korea. With their smiling faces and friendly eyes, Pungsangs rank among the cutest dogs. But international kennel clubs have a less favorable opinion of the pups, considering them to be a Siberian husky variant “only less physically impressive and with behavioral issues.”

North Korea also recognizes a national bird — the northern goshawk. It’s scientific name is Accipiter gentilis. Accipiter means “hawk,” and gentilis means “noble,” a reference to the fact that only nobles could fly the species for falconry purposes in the Middle Ages.

Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in North Korea

North Korean tourism is unusual in that it’s tightly controlled. All visitors are assigned government-appointed monitors and aren’t free to go where they want or visit nature reserves with wild animals — if there even are any. And while there is a zoo in North Korea’s capital of Pyongyang, it doesn’t have many animals, the enclosures are made of fake trees, and its biggest attraction is a chain-smoking chimpanzee named Azalea.

The Most Dangerous Animals in North Korea Today

What are the most dangerous animals in and around this country?

Endangered Animals in North Korea

Due to limited data, it’s tough to say which animals are endangered or extinct in North Korea specifically. However, scientists do have data from South Korea from which we can extrapolate information.

According to some reports, North Korea is home to 105 mammals, of which seven are endangered, six are vulnerable, and three are near threatened.

Determining the number and species of endangered and extinct animals in this region is near impossible at the moment since researchers cannot work for extended periods in the country, and North Korean scientists don’t distribute data to other nations.

North Korean Animals

Amur Leopard

The Amur leopard may be the rarest big cat on Earth!


First evolved 100 million years ago!


Renew their horns every year!


They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food

Asiatic Black Bear

Known to eat 160 different tree-borne fruits in Thailand!


Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!

Banana Spider

People spin clothing and fishing nets out of these spiders’ silk.


There are over 2,000 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.


Detects prey using echolocation!


There are 8 different species!


There are more than 350,000 different species


Not all birds are able to fly!

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!


The most common species of bee!


There are thought to be up 20,000 species!

Camel Cricket

The camel crickets that are found in the USA are light brown in color. They also have dark streaks all over their body.

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!


First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!


The larvae of a moth or butterfly!


There are nearly 3,000 different species!


There are about 3,000 documented species!


First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!

Chinese Geese

They are excellent “guard geese”


Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

Common House Spider

House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.


There are nearly 1.5 million worldwide!


There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings


Many are critically endangered species!


Have changed little in 200 million years!


There are around 40 different species!


First domesticated in South-East Asia!


First domesticated 5,000 years ago!


Found in Europe, Africa and Asia!


It's larvae are carnivorous!


Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight


Has exceptional eyesight!


There are nearly 2,000 different species!


Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!


The fastest creatures on the planet!

False Widow Spider

False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders

Fire-Bellied Toad

Found across mainland Europe and Asia!


There are more than 240,000 different species!

Flying Squirrel

Can glide up to 90 meters!


There are 12 different species in the world!


There are around 7,000 different species!


There are thought to be over 2,000 species!


Originally known as the Desert Rat!

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!


Most closely related to the Sheep!

Golden Oriole

Migrates between Europe and Asia!


There are 29 different species!


There are 11,000 known species!

Green Bee-Eater

Mainly eats honeybees!


Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!


Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!


Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!


Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!


Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!


Has evolved over 50 million years!


Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.

Horseshoe Crab

Changed little in over 500 million years!


Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!

Huntsman Spider

Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.


Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!


There are an estimated 30 million species!


Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!


Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!


There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Leopard Cat

There are 11 different species!


The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!


There are around 5,000 different species!


Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Long-Eared Owl

Ear tufts make it look bigger!


They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!

Masked Palm Civet

Found throughout Asia, India and China!


There are 2,500 known species worldwide!


They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.


Some species have a poisonous bite!


Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

Mole Cricket

Adult Mole crickets may fly as far as 5 miles during mating season and are active most of the year.


Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!


Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Monitor Lizard

Some species are thought to carry a weak venom!


There are around 260 known species!


Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!


There are 250,000 different species!


Found on every continent on Earth!


The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!


Roamed Asia and Europe for around 100,000 years!


Able to regrow lost or damaged limbs!


Named more than 1,000 years ago!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males


There are 13 different species worldwide


Can live for up to 100 years!

Peacock Butterfly

The eyespots on this butterfly’s wings deter predators from attacking.

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth


Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!


Thought to have been domesticated in 9,000 BC!


They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.


Found in mountainous regions and rocky areas

Pond Skater

There are 500 different species!


There are 30 different species worldwide!


Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!


There are more than 50 different species!


Omnivores that eat anything!


It's horns are made from keratin!

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!


There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!


The capybara, the world’s largest rodent, likes to be in and around bodies of water. Because of this, the Catholic Church in South America decided that it was a fish, and people were allowed to eat it during Lent and First Fridays.


Their fur has been considered a luxury item since the Middle Ages


There are more than 700 different species!


There are around 2,000 known species!


Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!


Around 35 million in the English countryside!


There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Skink Lizard

Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.

Slow Worm

Found widely throughout British gardens!


They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce


There are nearly 1,000 different species!


There are around 3,000 known species worldwide


There are 140 different species!

Spider Wasp

They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.


Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!


Average adults weigh about 200 grams!


Populations have been affected by pollution!


Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!


The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.


The largest feline in the world!

Tiger Beetle

The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world


Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!


Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.


Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted


There are 30 different species worldwide!


There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Water Buffalo

Has been domesticated for thousands of years!

Water Dragon

Spends most of it's time in the trees!


The smallest carnivorous mammal in the world!

White Tiger

None have been seen in the wild for 50 years!

Wild Boar

Males have a top tusk to sharpen the bottom one!


Thought to date back more than 300,000 years!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.


This animal can roll up into a ball

Woodlouse Spider

Unlike most spiders, woodlouse spiders don’t build a web.


There are 200 different species!


There are around 75 different species!

North Korean Animals List

Animals in North Korea FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What Animals Live in North Korea?

The animal most unique to North Korea is the Amur leopard — and scientists aren’t sure if individuals of the critically endangered species live within the country or if they’re just in the DMZ. Other animals in the region include white-naped cranes, Asiatic black bears, lynxes, Siberian musk deers, Korean hares, Korean crevice salamanders, Korean gorals, and Minke whales.

For a complete list of North Korean animal species, scroll down.

What Dangerous Animals Live in North Korea?

The seven most dangerous animals in North Korea are mosquitos, giant Asian hornets, jellyfish, vipers, tiger snakes, wild boars, and pufferfish.

Does North Korea Have a Zoo?

Yes, North Korea’s zoo is in Pyongyang. It goes by three names: Korea Central Zoo, Pyongyang Central Zoo, and the Central Ideals Zoo.

Does North Korea Have Tigers?

Although it cannot be confirmed, scientists believe that endangered Siberian tigers may still live in North Korea.

Are there scorpions in North Korea?

Yes, scorpions live on the Korean Peninsula, including North Korea. Moreover, they’re an important part of traditional medicines and are still used in formulas to treat colds, whooping cough, skin rashes, constipation, dysentery, nervous prostration, osteomyelitis, and tetanus.