Zoo keepers in northwest China are helping a chimpanzee to kick his chain-smoking habit.
Xiku, the only grown chimp in the zoo of Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, succumbed to addiction by observing and mimicking humans when he performed in a circus several years ago.
But to encourage the chimp to quit smoking was not easy. At the beginning, he became irascible when he wanted to smoke, jolting windows and doors, said the keeper.
We sometimes gave him some sunflower seeds or a bottle of beer to help him shake off the addiction and visitors are no longer allowed to throw him cigarettes, the keeper said.