Revolting Zoo Attraction Causes Outrage With Animal Activists Around The World

Andrea A.
25/10/2016

Azalea, a 19-year-old female chimpanzee, has become the latest attraction at thePyongyang zoo in North Korea.Her job is to smoke cigarettes in order to please the crowds who pay to see her, and this has been igniting fury across the globe.

Source: Wong Maye-E/AP

The chimp is trained to smoke a packet a day and has learnt how to light them herself, either with the butt of a dying cigarette or directly with a lighter, according to witnesses who reported toThe Guardian.While the crowd loves watching Azalea smoke, animal activists from all around the worldare outraged. Frans de Waal, an American primatologist, explained to theHuffington Post:

Of course, it is as addictive and unhealthy [for primates] as it is for humans.

Source: Wong Maye-E/AP

In an attempt to justify theiractions,Central Zoo's managers explained that Azalea doesn't inhale the smoke. But this was hardly a convincing defence. "I doubt it, in the same way that I would doubt a human who smokes a lot but says he never inhales," continued de Waal.Ingrid Newkirk, president of the association PETA, judged this attraction as "cruel" and used the occasion to call into question the very existence of zoos today. In the Time magazine she explained:

How cruel to wilfully addict a chimpanzee to tobacco for human amusement. Gradually, zoos are learning that spectacles like chimpanzee tea parties, elephant rides and photo ops with tiger cubs are inappropriate and exploitive, with the big question now being, why are we keeping wild animals behind bars at all?

Source: Wong Maye-E/AP

This scandal surfaced just a few weeks after the end of construction at the zoo that started in 2014. The park, which has been open since 1959, receives thousands of visitors every day and has been widely criticized for its poor health and hygiene standards.[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLhqZH9uQBQ[/embed]Besides Azalea, theCentral Zoo shows off another monkey who has been trained to behave in a completely unnatural and ridiculous manner. He shoots hoops while wearing athletic gear, with the eyes of thousands of paying visitors on him.

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Source: World News

There are many other animals in zoos around the world who, like Azalea and her unfortunate fellow primates, don't have their basic needs met in the middle of this unnatural, cramped environment they are forced to call home.You can join Peta in their fight against the unfair entrapment of animals in zoos by making a donation here. They aim to discourage people from visiting zoos in the hope that these boycotts will bring about enough awareness to shut zoos down.