Meet North Korea’s Mega Star Azalea, A Chain Smoking Chimp Who Also Lights Her Own Smoke

North Korea is quite an exciting place. Time and again something or the other happens down in North Korea and leaves the whole world baffled.

So this time, it’s a smoking chimpanzee. No, I am not kidding.

Pyongyang’s newly renovated zoo’s mega star these days is a 19-year-old chain-smoking chimpanzee called Azalea, who smokes about 20 cigarettes a day. 

Azalea, a 19-year-old female chimpanzee whose Korean name is "Dallae," smokes a cigarette at the Central Zoo in Pyongyang, North Korea Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. According to officials at the newly renovated zoo, which has become a favorite leisure spot in the North Korean capital since it was re-opened in July, the chimpanzee smokes about a pack a day. They insist, however, that she doesn’t inhale. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

 

Azalea smokes more than a pack a day and she is trained to light her own cigarettes as well. Her trainer throws a lighter in her cage and she works it up like a pro.

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The Chimp has been a major attention at the zoo and millions of people come to see her. While a lot of locals have taken offense, some are really delighted to watch her.

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The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) has criticised the zoo for “making animals do unnatural and freakish things to attract gawkers”. They also said, 

“Smoking is as dangerous to Azalea the chimpanzee as it is to humans, and yet her ‘caretakers’ facilitate her habit.”

Azalea, whose Korean name is "Dallae", a 19-year-old female chimpanzee, looks at her keeper at the Central Zoo in Pyongyang, North Korea on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. According to officials at the newly renovated zoo, which has become a favorite leisure spot in the North Korean capital since it was re-opened in July, the chimpanzee smokes about a pack a day. They insist, however, that she doesn’t inhale. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
“Just for the sake of a few cheap laughs and more bodies coming through the gates, these glorified prisons objectify sensitive animals.”

 

Renovation in the zoo happened under Kim Jong Un’s initiative to promote more leisure and impressive structures in the capital and seems like it’s working.

North Koreans wait at the gate of the newly opened Pyongyang Central Zoo in Pyongyang, North Korea, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's latest gift to the lucky residents of Pyongyang, the renovated central zoo, is pulling in thousands of visitors a day with a slew of attractions ranging from such typical zoo fare as elephants, giraffes, penguins and monkeys to a high-tech natural history museum. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

People also argue that it sets a bad example for children coming to the zoo. But according to the zoo, the chimp is very safe and never inhales the smoke. 

All arguments one side, this chimp has got swag.

News Source: Telegraph

All images are taken from Huffington Post