Video Shows Chimpanzee Smoking After Tourist Throws Cigarette Into Zoo Enclosure
Shocking footage has emerged which shows a chimpanzee smoking in a zoo after a tourist allegedly threw a cigarette into its enclosure.
The video, seen millions of times in the first 24 hours it was online, was taken by another visitor at Hefei Wildlife Park in East China's Anhui Province and shows the animal holding the cigarette between his fingers, before starting to smoke it.
The chimp, who according to AsiaWire, is a male, then drops the cigarette just after.
Quickly going viral, the 11 second clip has caused widespread anger among the public, with many, understandably, voicing their concern for the animal's safety and well being.
The zoo itself has also been criticised for not properly supervising visitors or protecting the animals they hold there.
According to an unnamed zoo worker, the chimp found the cigarette after it had been tossed by 'uncivilised tourists', they apparently told Chinese news outlet The Paper.
An unnamed spokesperson reportedly hit back at criticism from the public. They allegedly told local media: "It had one cigarette. Nothing bad will come of that. Humans smoke for tens of years. It's not like it happens every day.
"A tourist threw one cigarette at it. It's very smart, so it picked up the cigarette and imitated the smoking."
The employee said that the park only charges 35 RMB (£3.80) per ticket, seeming to suggest that because of how low the cost is to enter, incidents like this are bound to happen.
She added: "We have tens of thousands of visitors each day, but there are only 100 staff. There's no way we can monitor every visitor. We need to rely on the tourists themselves to behave.
"And our tickets cost just 35 RMB. Anyone can afford that. Of course, our visitors can't compare to those who pay 200 to 300 RMB (£22 to £33) at other parks."
In July, Hefei Wildlife Park made the news again after a different chimpanzee escaped from its enclosure and attacked a zoo employee, kicking them.
The unnamed spokeswoman said the smoking chimp was not the same animal and that both chimps were perfectly healthy.
It is not confirmed whether or not the visitor who threw the cigarette has been identified.
Featured Image Credit: Asia Wire