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'Charlie the Smoking Chimp' dies at 52

By Abdul Nisar

London, Oct 07 (ANI): 'Charlie the Smoking Chimp' who was addicted to smoking cigarettes has died from old age.

The chimpanzee was famous for his habit, picked up from visitors to his South African zoo, of smoking lit cigarettes. ut the zoo announced that the ape had finally died, aged 52. Most chimpanzees live to around 40.

Qondile Khedama, a spokesman for Mangaung Zoo, said Charlie was only an 'occasional smoker', but had none the less become famous around the world for the habit.

She explained that although the zoo discouraged the practice, the ape obtained cigarettes from visitors who would throw lit cigarettes to him through his bars.

Khedama said she did not know whether the ape's bad smoking habit contributed to his demise and that post mortem to determine the exact cause of death would take place soon, reports the Telegraph.

The chimpanzee had learnt that he was not supposed to smoke, he would try and hide the habit from his zookeepers.

Charlie is thought to have picked up the smoking habit when he worked in an American circus. It has been speculated that he was taught the trick to entertain circus-goers. (ANI)

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