According to reports, a chimpanzee named Azalea who is currently held at a North Korean zoo may be given as many as 20 cigarettes a day to smoke as guests, as heard in the video below, look on and laugh. Surely, this is definitive proof that shabby roadside tourist traps that lock up living beings are motivated by profit and not animal welfare.
Smoking is as dangerous for Azalea as it is for humans, yet her “caretakers” facilitate her habit—just for the sake of a few cheap laughs and increased attendance. She has also reportedly been trained to bow to guests and dance.
This year has been full of headlines about the plight of animals held captive in unnatural and inadequate enclosures for humans to gawk at—from the hugely discussed shooting of Harambe the gorilla to the shocking revelations about the treatment of tigers suffering at Thailand’s Tiger Temple. Gradually, compassionate people the world over are learning that spectacles such as elephant rides and photo ops with baby animals are inappropriate and exploitative.
The big question now is “Why are we still keeping wild animals behind bars?”
What You Can Do
Vote with your wallet and your feet. Steer clear of glorified prisons like squalid roadside zoos, marine parks, and other tourist traps that objectify sensitive animals. Then, encourage your friends to do the same by sharing this story.