Thursday, October 06, 2005

Imagine my delight

Chinese chimp quits smoking after 16 years

Last Updated: 2005-10-03 11:13:52 -0400 (Reuters Health)

BEIJING (Reuters) - A chimpanzee in a northwest China zoo has quit
smoking after 16 years with the help of her keepers, official media

The staff, worried about her declining health, weaned 27-year-old "Ai
Ai" off tobacco by distracting her with entertainment and a tastier
diet, Xinhua news agency said.

"The zookeepers tried every way to divert the chimp's attention from
cigarettes: a walk after breakfast, a music session after lunch and
gym after dinner," Xinhua said.

She also got fried dishes and dumplings, as well as the usual diet of
milk, bananas and rice, said one zookeeper.

"I also put earphones on her so that she could enjoy some pop music
from my Walkman," he said.

"In the first few days, she squealed for cigarettes every now and
then, but as her life became more colourful she gradually forgot about
them altogether."

Xinhua attributed Ai Ai's habit to solitude and grief.

Living in a safari park in Shaanxi province, she had taken up smoking
in 1989 shortly after her mate died, it said. Then she had become a
chain smoker after her second mate died in 1997 and her daughter was
moved to another zoo.

Xinhua did not say who had first given cigarettes to her or kept
supplying them.

The Xian Evening News said the zoo was trying to find another mate for her.

A few thoughts:

1) Ai Ai lost two mates and her daughter. OF COURSE she took up smoking.
2) Although I am happy for Ai Ai's success, I really don't think replacing a tobacco addiction with a dumpling addiction is necessarily the answer. Maybe there should be a little less music and a little more counseling.
3) I appreciate the fact that Ai Ai was a casual smoker for eight years before the death of her second mate, when the smoking became a serious problem.


Blogger they call me the R said...

A great example of man's genius--one should never quit for dumplings. How the hell does a middle-aged primate ever think she's going to find a mate if she's fat? A serious question. I posit that she should start smoking again in order to up that metabolism, bathe, and maybe start looking outside of the zoo.

3:24 PM  
Blogger fabulous babe said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:13 AM  
Blogger fabulous babe said...

thanks doll - i can always rely on you for the best in humor and random tid bits. it rocks!

now allow me to pontificate: i think you should only quit smoking for pizza, donuts and agita. at least, that's what happened to me. it took my 15 years to go from non-smoker to heavy smoker to i wanna be a social smoker to i can never be a social smoker to i must quit to i actually quit. i congratulate anyone, gorilla and human alike, who manages to do it. call me crazy, but seven months later, the smell of cigarettes outside my office building still make me twitch.

9:15 AM  

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