Curiosities - Information
We found another smoking chimp
When chimpanzee Omega was arriving in Brazil, after years of misery in a cage of a precarious zoo at south Lebanon and was news all over the world for being a smoking chimp, we discovered another addicted chimpanzee at Sorocaba Sanctuary, and we had no idea that he was.
A new employee left a pack of cigarettes and a lighter on the top of a tunnel that Johnny has access. Johnny was observing him from the third level of the enclosure and saw that it was possible to get the cigarettes in the place he had put them. He went down calmly, put his arm through the window until he reached the top of the tunnel, in the exact place where the object he desired was.
The employee did not notice until he saw smoking on the second level of the tunnel, where he was with his precious object. Johnny had used the lighter and lighted his first cigarette, and continued until he smoked all the pack. Then he threw away an empty back and a destroyed lighter.
It’s very interesting to observe that the cases of smoking chimps in zoos and circuses occurred with lighted cigarettes given to them. The case of Johnny is different, because he knows how to use the lighter to light the cigarettes. Johnny is with us for several years and lived in a family house for almost nine years. He came young from Switzerland to Brazil and participated of human family style for years. He used to ride a motorcycle with the son of his owner through the city. That’s why he likes motorcycles and magazines that show them.
The family that donated him to the sanctuary, after trying, with no success, keeping him at Curitiba zoo – where he attacked a female, as long as he had never lived with other chimpanzee before and did not enjoy the presence of visitors – never told us he liked to smoke. We happened to discover it by accident.
Dr. Pedro A. Ynterian
President, GAP Project International.