Chain-smoking chimpanzee draws huge crowd at zoo opening

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Visitors roared with delight on Wednesday, as Azalea the smoking chimpanzee stole the show at Pyongyang’s newly opened Central Zoo.

Officials say the 19-year-old female chimpanzee, smokes about a pack a day.

They insist she doesn’t inhale.

Thrown a lighter by a zoo trainer, the chimpanzee lights her own cigarettes.

The zoo also has performances featuring other animals trained to do tricks, including a monkey that slam dunks basketballs, dogs trained to appear as though they can do addition or subtraction on an abacus and doves that fly around and land on a woman skating on an indoor stage.

Renovations for the new zoo began in 2014, as part of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s efforts to create more modern and impressive structures and leisure centres around the capital.

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