Chain-Smoking Chimpanzee Becomes the Star of a Re-Opened North Korean Zoo

A newly re-opened zoo in North Korea has a very unique attraction: a chimpanzee with a 20-cigarette-a-day smoking habit.

The zoo, located in the country’s capital Pyongyang, is home to a primate named Azalea. What’s unique about Azalea is that she can finish a full pack of cigarettes in a day. She has even taught herself how to light her sticks on her own with or without a lighter. While she knows how to use a lighter, she can also use recently discarded cigarettes to light new ones.

The 19-year-old chimpanzee, who also goes by her Korean name Dalle, has become the unofficial star of the zoo.

According to the Daily Mail, the trainer at the zoo encourages her habit and even helps feed the smoking addiction. The trainer maintained however, that the chimp does not inhale the smoke. Such a treatment of an animal, which would typically be condemned and frowned upon elsewhere, has made a star out of Azalea in North Korea.

Azalea also knows other tricks such as touching her nose, taking a bow to say thank you and dancing.

The zoo, which dates back to 1959, has reportedly become quite popular, entertaining thousands of visitors a day after its renovations were recently completed. The facility currently features a wide variety of animals including: elephants, giraffes, penguins, monkeys and others. Additional amenities in the zoo include a high-tech natural history museum and a dog pavilion that features different dog breeds and conducts occasional dog shows.

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