North Korea — Pyongyang’s just opened zoo & it has a brand new star: Azalea, the smoking chimpanzee.
Based on officials who work at the recently renovated zoo, which has become a favourite leisure area in the North Korean capital since it reopened in July, a 19-year old female chimpanzee, whose name in Korean is “Dalle,” smokes about a pack a day.
A zoo exercise device lights her own smokes. If one is known her manner, and if your lighter is not going to work, she can light it up from the lit smoke.
Though such a sight would be cringe-worthy in many other locales, it appeared to please visitors who roar often with laughter at the zoo. The chimpanzee, sat as her trainer egged her on puffing away. The trainer also prompted her bow thank you, to touch her nose and do an easy dancing.
The zoo is pulling in thousands of visitors a day with a slew of attractions ranging from the usual as elephants, giraffes, penguins and monkeys into a high tech natural history museum with displays showing the sources of the solar system and the development of life on Earth.
Another of the most famous draws which may come as a surprise is the dog pavilion, which has everything from German shepherds. The zoo also has performances featuring other animals trained to do magic tricks, including a monkey that slam dunks basketballs, dogs trained to appear as if they can do summation on subtraction on an abacus and doves that fly around and land on a girl skating on an indoor stage.
Renovations for the new zoo started in 2014, as part of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s attempts to create striking and modern constructions and leisure centers around the capital. The zoo really dates back to 1959, when Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of Kim Jong Un and the country’s first leader, purchased it constructed on the outskirts of town.
According to its official history, the zoo started off with just 50 badgers.