VIDEO: Chimpanzee smokes at North Korean zoo

Still frame from NBC News video

A newly reopened North Korean zoo houses a cigarette smoking chimpanzee. On Wednesday visitors to the Pyongyang zoo roared with delight watching Azalea, a 19-year-old female chimpanzee, smoke.

Azalea’s trainer through her a lighter. The chimp can light her own cigarettes.

Officials say she smokes about a pack a day. They insist she doesn’t inhale.

The zoo also has performances featuring other animals trained to do tricks, including a monkey that dunks basketballs, and doves that fly around and land on a woman skating on an indoor stage. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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