South African zoo wants chimp to kick nicotine habit
An adult male chimpanzee in a South African zoo has taken up a peculiar habit: smoking. Charlie, one of the Bloemfontein Zoo’s star attractions, gets his nicotine fix by smoking cigarettes thrown to him by visitors.
“Baby chimps pick up habits by mimicking adults, and we think he started mimicking smokers at his enclosure, which probably led to smokers throwing him cigarettes,” spokesman Daryl Barnes said.
Barnes said Charlie was already showing the signs of a true nicotine addict.
“He even acts like a naughty schoolboy by hiding the cigarette when staff approach the area,” Barnes said, adding that the zoo was determined to help him quit.
Zoo officials are urging visitors to refrain from giving Charlie their cigarettes or any other treats. Apparently the chimp’s got another vice: a sweet tooth for the cans of soft drinks people throw at him (ow?).
Sadly, Charlie is not the only smoking chimp. A zoo in China announced last year that one of its chimps had also taken to the nasty habit.