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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 August, 2004, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK
Frustrated chimp takes up smoking
Feili smokes at her zoo in Henan, central China, August 24,2004 (Photo: MaxPPP)
Feili has begun imitating her spectators
A chimpanzee has taken up smoking and spitting, according to China's Xinhua news agency.

It is unclear why Feili, 13, has started smoking but her zoo keeper said it was because she was frustrated.

She has turned from a "gentle girl" into a "shrew", said Liu Bing, director of Zhengzhou zoo, Henan province.

Mr Liu said Feili's partner at the zoo was 28 years her senior, and was unable "to meet her sexual demands".

Feili was not addicted to nicotine, he said, but was just imitating tourists.

However, she does appear to be quite keen on smoking - and has been known to resort to desperate measures to get what she wants.

Xinhua reported that Feili became excited when she saw a visitor light up a cigarette, and grew impatient when they showed no sign of giving it to her.

It quoted one boy visiting the zoo as saying: "Just now a tourist threw a cigarette butt to just outside the cage - she tried to get the butt with a stick."

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