RIP: Charlie the Smoking Chimp, 1958-2010

Accessibility links

Thursday 07 October 2010 | South Africa feed

Advertisement Website of the Telegraph Media Group with breaking news, sport, business, latest UK and world news. Content from the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph newspapers and video from Telegraph TV. Enhanced by Google Home News Sport Finance Lifestyle Comment Travel Culture Technology Fashion Motoring Jobs Dating Offers UK World Politics Celebrities Obituaries Weird Earth Science Health News Education Topics News Blogs News Video USA Barack Obama Asia China Central Asia Europe Australasia Middle East Africa South America Home News World News Africa and Indian Ocean South Africa 'Charlie the Smoking Chimp' dies from old age A chimpanzee which became addicted to smoking cigarettes has died from old age having managed to live at least 10 years longer than most chimps.  

By Dan Newling in Cape Town Published: 5:01PM BST 06 Oct 2010

Charlie was only an 'occasional smoker', but had none the less become famous around the world for the habit Photo: CBS NEWS

'Charlie the Smoking Chimp' was famous for his habit, picked up from visitors to his South African zoo, of smoking lit cigarettes.

But the zoo announced that the ape had finally died, aged 52. Most chimpanzees live to around 40.

  Related Articles Chimpanzee plays with tiger cubs Humans evolved from tree dwelling apes rather than knuckle draggers One family's global surfing Odyssey Zoo evacuated as chimpanzees escape Human ancestors less ape-like than thought My trip to Neverland, and the call from Michael Jackson I'll never forget, by Paul Theroux

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.

Ms Khedama explained that Charlie had recently been receiving special care, including a special diet of protein shakes and vitamin and mineral supplements.

Ms 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.

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.

Read Full Article »

Related Articles