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Meet Azalea, the smoking chimp

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Pyongyang’s newly opened zoo has a new star: Azalea, the smoking chimpanzee.

According to officials at the newly renovated zoo, which has become a favorite leisure spot in the North Korean capital since it re-opened in July, the 19-year-old female chimpanzee, whose name in Korean is “Dalle”, smokes about a pack a day. Dalle is short for azalea.

They insist, however, she doesn’t inhale.

Thrown a lighter by a zoo trainer, the chimpanzee lights her own cigarettes. If a lighter isn’t available, she can light up from lit cigarette if one is tossed her way.

Though such a sight would be cringe-worthy in many other locales, it seemed to delight visitors who roared with laughter on Wednesday as the chimpanzee, one of two at the zoo, sat puffing away as her trainer egged her on. The trainer also prompted her to touch her nose, bow thank you and do a simple dance. (AP)

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