Smoking Chimp Rescued


A 12-year-old chimpanzee is heading to a sanctuary in Brazil after animal rights workers discovered him smoking cigarettes to entertain visitors at a Lebanese zoo.

Omega has never climbed a tree or seen other chimpanzees.

Organisers of Omega's evacuation say it marks the first time a chimpanzee has been rescued in Lebanon, a country with virtually no animal rights protection laws.
In his younger years, Omega was used in one of the local restaurants to entertain people and was made to smoke cigarettes and serve water pipes to customers.
After he grew stronger, he was locked up and taken to a zoo where for the past ten years he has lived in a small cage.

Chimpanzees and other highly endangered wildlife are regularly smuggled to the Middle East to be displayed in private zoos, hotels and for the pet trade.


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© Keith Mann