Chain-smoking chimpanzee Jiaku puffs away in a Chinese zoo after getting addicted to cigarettes for 16 years (video)  

14:58 • 07.06.18



A shocking video of a zoo chimpanzee chain smoking in his enclosure has sparked controversy in China.


The 28-year-old male primate, named Jiaku, is said to have been a chain smoker for about 16 years.


The chimp has carried on his habit after being moved to a zoo in Xinjiang, north-east China, in 2002.


A clip on China's video platform Pear shows Jiaku puffing on cigarettes as tourists watched excitedly by his enclosure in Tianshan Wildlife Zoo last Friday.


The video also shows tourists throwing cigarettes and lighters into Jiaku's enclosure to encourage him to smoke. No keepers or staff were present to stop the tourists from doing so. 


The zoo issued an apology letter yesterday after the public accused the management for not taking good care of the animal. 


The zoo promised to seal all gaps in the glass windows and add warning signs to prevent visitors from giving Jiaku more cigarettes.     


Jiaku's caretaker, Yu Xinhua, told Xinjiang Morning Post last year that Jiaku had been smoking since 2002.  

In a separate interview, Mr Yu told ifeng.com that Jiaku was born in Beijing Zoo in 1990.

 

“He was trained and had worked in a Chinese circus before,” said Mr Yu, who has looked after the animal for 16 years.


Jiaku was transferred from the circus to the Ürümqi Zoo in Xinjiang Province under an animals exchange programme in 2002. 


In 2006, it moved to Tianshan Wildlife Zoo in the same province where he is still living.


The management of Tianshan Wildlife Zoo have vowed to help the animal quit smoking. 


The zoo said a statement: 'We will fill up all the gaps and holes between the glass panels to avoid tourists slipping cigarettes into the enclosure.

 

'We will put up more warning signs on to remind tourists not to throw or feed any food and objects to the chimpanzees.' 

 





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