London, July 27 (ANI): The owner of a mynah bird in China has revealed that his pet bird has become so much addicted to smoking that it starts pestering him for a fag first thing in the morning.
The bizarre habit of the pet has landed its owner into trouble with the Government in China where smoking is at crisis point.
Owner Zhang Li, from Xuzhou in eastern China, has said that he gave up trying to stop the bird - called Xi Zu-from smoking after it became addicted.
"As soon as he sees me in the morning he says he wants a cigarette. And he doesn't stop pestering me until I give him one," the Daily Star quoted Li as saying.
He added: "Whenever I light one up myself he just watches me the whole time - he is a complete addict now."
Li believes that the mynah - famed for its ability to impersonate humans - learned to request a cigarette after seeing him ask his wife if he could have one of her smokes.
"He is very talented. He can recite poetry and can sing but he refuses to do any of that until he's had a cigarette in the morning. Then he sits there happily chatting away and performing to anybody who comes to visit," said Li.
He added: "I tried to help him quit but failed because he refuses to speak or eat unless I give him cigarettes."
And ever since the story has been published by the Chinese media, it has sparked an immediate reaction from government health chiefs.
A Chinese government insider said: "This has really hit home in parts of the government. It seems people dying every day didn't have a huge impact on them - it took this picture of a bird smoking to get something done." (ANI)