Jiaku the chimpanzee has allegedly been addicted to smoking for 16 years

Chimpanzee Smokes Cigarettes
Credit: TPG/Getty

A chimpanzee known for his 16-year smoking addiction is back in the news.

According to Daily Mail, there is new, upsetting footage of the guests at China’s Tianshan Wildlife Zoo throwing lit cigarettes into a primate’s enclosure, so they can watch him chain smoke.

The clip, posted to China’s video platform Pear, also shows the ape puffing a cigarette like a practiced smoker.

That’s because he is.

Jiaku has allegedly been addicted to smoking for 16 years because of inconsiderate zoo guests constantly supplying him with cigarettes. The bad habit started at the animal’s previous zoo home and followed the chimp to his current abode in Tianshan.

The new footage of Jiaku smoking caused outrage among animal lovers, who were shocked at the joy zoo visitors were taking from watching the ape smoke, and the fact that no keepers were present to stop guests from harassing the animal.

The Daily Mail reports the zoo has since issued an apology for the lapse in care, and promised to seal the glass in Jiaku’s exhibit to make it more difficult to get cigarettes to the chimp. Zoo staff also said they would put up signs prohibiting the cruel act.

Sadly, Jiaku isn’t the only primate with a chain-smoking problem: An orangutan at Indonesia’s Bandung Zoo has also picked up the habit, after numerous zoo guests deposited lit cigarette butts into the animal’s enclosure. And in 2016, Azalea the chimp at Pyongyang, North Korea’s Central Zoo gained notoriety for her ability to both light a cigarette and smoke it.