Tuesday, June 27, 2006
BEER HELPS CHIMP TO QUIT SMOKING
From: Agence France-Presse
June 26, 2006
XIKU the chain-smoking chimpanzee has almost kicked his deadly habit thanks to the efforts of zoo keepers in China, but it has taken a beer or two to help get him through detox.
Xiku became addicted to smoking while mimicking the habits of humans during a career as a circus performer, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.
By the time he was sent to a zoo in Urumqi, the capital of China's northwest Xinjiang region, in 2002, Xiku was already smoking 10 cigarettes a day.
That number doubled as visitors threw him cigarettes for amusement, but he is now down to smoking four a day after some unorthodox efforts from zoo keepers, Xinhua said.
``At the beginning, he became irascible when he wanted to smoke, jolting windows and doors,'' Xinhua quoted one of the keepers as saying. ``We sometimes gave him some sunflower seeds or a bottle of beer to help him shake off the addiction and visitors are no longer allowed to throw him cigarettes.''