North Korea is a land of great mystery, extremely limited internet, and awful human rights abuses. It is also apparently a place where chimpanzees chainsmoke in zoos.
The Guardian reports that officials at the Central Zoo in Pynongyang say Azalea, a 19-year-old chimpanzee, smokes up to a pack of cigarettes every day. She can light them on her own with a lighter or matches, and can be seen in videos puffing away. But don’t worry too much: Officials also say she doesn’t inhale. In addition to smoking, the Associated Press reports that Azalea, or Dallae as she’s called in Korean, knows how to bow, touch her know, and do basic dances.
Azalea the smoking chimp is just one of the zoo’s popular attractions. Thousands of daily visitors also reportedly visit the dog pavilion, which is filled with various breeds of dogs. But most impressive—and perhaps cruel—is a monkey that can reportedly dunk a basketball and dogs smart enough to solve basic math equations on an abacus.
North Korea's Pyongyang Zoo has a new star: The smoking chimpanzee. The zoo insists she doesn't inhale. https://t.co/ZQzsHk4Pt6 pic.twitter.com/n6BB2NEmom
— ABC News (@ABC) October 20, 2016
To be honest, it sounds like a great zoo, aside from the probable animal abuse and the dictatorship and everything else.