North Korea’s capital city Pyongyang has something out of the ordinary attracting visitors to it’s newly opened zoo – Azalea, the smoking chimpanzee.
The zoo which was recently renovated has become a favourite leisure spot since it re-opened in July, according to it’s staff.
The 19-year-old female chimpanzee, whose Korean name is “Dallae”, smokes about a pack of cigarette a day.
The zoo staff however insist the chimp doesn’t inhale the smoke.
Azalea, after thrown a lighter, lights her cigarettes. If a lighter isn’t available, she uses a lit cigarette to light up the cigarette she is about to smoke.
All the acts seemed to delight visitors who roared with laughter on Wednesday as the chimp, one of two at the zoo, sat puffing away as her trainer egged her on. The trainer also prompted her to touch her nose, bow thank you and do a simple dance.
Other performing animals also exist in the zoo. They range from a monkey which slam dunks basketballs, dogs trained to appear as though they can do addition on subtraction on an abacus and doves that fly around and land on a woman skating on an indoor stage.
A high-tech natural history museum also exists in the zoo. It features displays showing the origins of the solar system and the evolution of life on Earth.
Renovations for the new zoo began in 2014, as part of efforts made by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to create more modern and impressive structures and leisure centres around the capital.
The zoo dates back to 1959, when Kim Il Sung, the communist nation’s first leader and the grandfather of Kim Jong Un, ordered it built on the outskirts of the city.