[PHOTO NEWS] Leader's gift, Chinese salamander in Pyongyang zoo

By Lim Chang-won Posted : July 11, 2018, 09:41 Updated : July 11, 2018, 09:41

[Yonhap News Photo]

SEOUL -- North Korea's state TV station showed a Chinese giant salamander displayed in a zoo in Pyongyang as a gift from leader Kim Jong-un, highlighting the medicinal value of the endangered species known as a living fossil.

The Chinese giant salamander was donated by Kim, the Korean Central Television reported on Tuesday, adding the rare animal has a high medicinal value and is widely used as a longevity food.

A Korean-language information panel installed at the zoo's aquarium carried an emphatic phrase reading "Because of its high medicinal value, it is widely used as a longevity food and called long life fish."

The Chinese giant salamander is listed as a critically endangered species due to a drastic population decline. Human consumption is the main threat because it is considered to be a luxury food item and an important source of traditional medicines in China. It is the largest amphibian in the world. The average adult Chinese salamander weighs 25-30 kilograms and is 115 centimeters in length.

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