Below you can find a complete list of North Korean animals. We currently track 136 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.
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
North Korean Animals List
- Amur Leopard
- Asiatic Black Bear
- Barn Owl
- Black Widow Spider
- Camel Cricket
- Common Buzzard
- Crab Spider
- Fire-Bellied Toad
- Flying Squirrel
- Glass Lizard
- Glow Worm
- Golden Oriole
- Green Bee-Eater
- Honey Bee
- Horseshoe Crab
- Huntsman Spider
- Leopard Cat
- Long-Eared Owl
- Masked Palm Civet
- Monitor Lizard
- No See Ums
- Peregrine Falcon
- Pond Skater
- River Turtle
- Skink Lizard
- Slow Worm
- Stick Insect
- Tree Frog
- Water Buffalo
- Water Dragon
- White Tiger
- Wild Boar
- Wolf Spider
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.