The heartbreaking story of Azalea, the chimp who smoked for 40 days before getting into the habit of kicking

SUCKING has long been considered an unattractive, unhealthy trait, but for one chimpanzee, it was a habit forced upon her for the sake of entertaining garden guests. animal.

Smoking chimp Azalea, now 25, has been trained to light and smoke 40 cigarettes a day to entertain visitors to North Korea’s notorious Pyongyang Zoo.

Azalea smokes up to 40 cigarettes a day to entertain zoo visitors

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Azalea smokes up to 40 cigarettes a day to entertain zoo visitorsCredit: Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. Copyright Registered.
She was able to light them herself with a lighter or a cigarette

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She was able to light them herself with a lighter or a cigaretteCredit: Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. Copyright Registered.

In a move that has confounded animal rights activists, Azalea – whose Korean name is Dallae – will enchant families by lighting a cigarette using a lighter or a trained one. hers ignited.

She may also be prompted to touch her nose, bow in thanks, and perform a simple dance.

Azalea became the zoo’s many-star attraction in 2016 after the park was renovated at the behest of leader Kim Jong-un in an effort to modernize recreation centers around the capital and make them become more impressive.

The zoo, located in the secretive state’s capital, is said to be a pet project of autocrats – and it’s no surprise that over the years many stories have emerged about the strange exhibits. and spectacular.

According to reports, they include monkeys playing basketball, a parrot that can recite an ode to former tyrant Kim Il-sung and dogs that can count with an abacus.

But while the unusual sight of Azalea plunging through a swarm drew a stunned crowd, it also drew outrage from campaigners, who called the sight “cruel”.

Most read in The Irish Sun

Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, stated that it is “cruel” to deliberately give a chimpanzee tobacco for pleasure.

However, zookeepers insisted she did not inhale when they made the case against the activists.

After a series of complaints and advice to cut the gimmick, Azalea finally gave up her 40-a-day routine.

Swedish zoo expert Jonas Walhstrom is among those adamant that smoking must be stopped immediately.

Jonas, the managing director of a wildlife park in Stockholm, has completed more than two dozen trips to the zoo over the past 30 years to assist staff – but was furious when he saw Azalea light a cigarette.

“I strongly told them it was absolutely impossible to do that,” he previously told Sun Online.

“That’s what you would have seen in European zoos 30 years ago.

“Luckily they stopped it, now, at least they’ve told me they have.”

Jonas’s trips to the country began more than 30 years ago when zoo officials invited him to help advise staff.

‘GIFT FOR THE LEADER’

He has returned several times and over the years has donated to the zoo dozens of smaller animals, including galagos, fish, baby alligators, rattlesnakes, boas, turtles, and iguanas.

“It’s a partnership with the zoo in Pyongyang,” he said in 2017.

“They are quite isolated – I have quite a few relationships outside of work so I can help them, teach them a lot of good things so they can take care of animals.

“I’m trying to teach them the importance of getting rich. I try to get them to bring plants back for the chimpanzee exhibits. It was a bit slow, but they finally listened to what I was trying to say. .

“Located in the far east, the zoo is very good. Like some of the old cages where they kept the big cats but overall the exhibits, the trainers – they really turned the tables.

“But of course they had a lot of help from the Leader, as they say.”

Leader is the title given locally to dictator Kim Jong-un, who Jonas said has a personal interest in the zoo’s success.

“They pretty much have (animals) for the Great Leader and the Beloved Leader – they go after animal gifts,” he added.

“Mao Zedong gave them giant pandas, Ho Chi Minh gave them elephants, Mugabe gave them rhinos and Gadaffi gave them camels. So next to each exhibit is a sign that says they are a a gift from Ho Chi Minh, or whatever.

“Everything is officially a gift to the Leader and then he gives them to the zoo. I’m not necessarily happy with it, but that’s the system.”

Jonas describes his work with the zoo as apolitical and says his motivation is to ensure the quality of life for zoo animals and the well-being of local species.

Visitors will gather around to watch Azalea smoke

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Visitors will gather around to watch Azalea smokeCredit: Jonas Wahlstrom
Azalea starts her 40-a-day routine

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Azalea starts her 40-a-day routineCredit: Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. Copyright Registered.
Swedish zoo expert Jonas Walhstrom tells zoo keepers not to let her smoke

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Swedish zoo expert Jonas Walhstrom tells zoo keepers not to let her smokeCredit: Alamy
Park in Pyongyang reopened in 2016 after renovation

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Park in Pyongyang reopened in 2016 after renovationCredit: Jonas Wahlstrom

https://www.thesun.ie/news/8226385/azalea-smoking-chimp-kicking-habit/ The heartbreaking story of Azalea, the chimp who smoked for 40 days before getting into the habit of kicking

Fry Electronics Team

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