BEIJING (AP) – A nicotine-addicted chimpanzee is kicking her 16-year-old habit using dumplings and pop music.

The chimp, Ai Ai, began scavenging cigarette butts left by visitors at the Qinling Safari Park in the late 1980’s after her first mate, Jian Jian, died, the official China Daily newspaper said.

Zookeepers eventually began giving Ai Ai cigarettes of her own and lighting them, the paper said. She was smoking between eight and 10 cigarettes a day before zookeepers decided in August to help her kick the habit.

The paper said Ai Ai tended to smoke more when she was lonely or depressed, including after the death of one of her two children in the mid-1990’s and the death of her second mate, Da Hu, in 1997.

Chinese meat dumplings, pop music and walks have been used to distract 26-year-old Ai Ai from her cravings and to keep her from begging noisily for cigarettes.


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