“Please don't feed the animals”... but cigarettes and beer are OK? Visitors to a Chinese zoo have found a loophole in traditional zoo signage, to the delight of one chain-smoking chimpanzee. Not only does the “party animal” encourage people to toss him lit cigarettes, he's learned how to light one smoke from the smoldering remains of another.
Zoos aren't new in China but zoo etiquette seems to be a foreign concept – you'll recall the taunted elephant at the Wuhan Zoo who, tired of having rocks thrown at him, decided he'd toss one back. The elephant's actions show animals can learn from experience, and not always in a good way.
The latest example of humans being a bad influence on animals comes from a zoo in China's Xinjiang province. One of the chimpanzees in the apes exhibit has embraced a vice once thought to be purely a people problem: smoking.
Photos taken by a visitor to the zoo and subsequently shared over China's social media scene show the chimp casually smoking cigarettes and guzzling beer from a can!
Since one can't imagine such items being given to the chimpanzees along with their regular food and water, the blame will be placed on ignorant zoo visitors – seriously, who flicks a lit cigarette at zoo animals?? One or more of the zookeepers may also be responsible... it's easy to imagine the kept observing the keepers as they enjoy a puff on their smoking break.
Now it's “monkey see, monkey do” at the Xinjiang Zoo! The chain-smoking chimp seems to have a monkey on his back, so to speak, as he motions for smoking visitors to toss him their cigarettes.
He's even figured out how to light new smokes from smoldering butts, and does so like a pro. What's next for the Bogie-esque Bonobo? Let's just hope nobody throws him dice and playing cards. (via M.I.C Gadget, Shanghaiist, SINA News, and The Velvet Store)