Smoking Chimp evacuated from Lebanon

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

Omega, who weighs around 132 pounds (60 kilograms), has never climbed a tree or seen other chimpanzees. But he often puffed cigarettes that zoo visitors threw in his cage.

“The chimp still regularly smokes … if someone will throw him a cigarette he’d pick it up and go for it straight away,” said Jason Meier, executive director for animal rights group Animals Lebanon.

Organizers 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 10 years he has lived in a cage measuring 430 square feet (40 square meters).

Animals Lebanon has been pushing for Lebanon to join the 175-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, and adopt laws that regulate the importation of primates. Lebanon, Iraq and Bahrain are the only Arab countries yet to sign the convention.

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.

Animals Lebanon heard about the zoo in Ansar, near the market town of Nabatiyeh, about six months ago. They have since successfully worked with the owner to close the zoo and find homes for the animals.

For Omega, home will be a sanctuary in Sao Paolo, Brazil where he is to be flown later Monday aboard an Emirates airlines flight.

Other animals found at the zoo, including seven baboons, a hyena and various bird species, are to be sent to new homes within Lebanon.

NPR

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12 responses to “Smoking Chimp evacuated from Lebanon”

  1. Even animals can’t live in lebanon… what does it say about humans ?

    1. Leborigine Avatar
      Leborigine

      Tim, you hit the nail right on its head!!
      Most Lebanese do not have any respect for women, animals, nature, their country, other humans, each other, even themselves. What did you expect, you are insulting animals by calling Lebanese humans animals.
      It is very sad that we were once the cradle of civilisation and now reduced to a single cell Protozoa. Retarded and cannot even run a zoo properly, I cannot believe that people find that entertaining – WoW – a smoking chimpanzee in a 40m2 enclosure!!

      1. evil people at its best

        definition of a libonais = modern day barbarian

  2. Even animals can’t live in lebanon… what does it say about humans ?

    1.  Avatar

      Tim, you hit the nail right on its head!!

      Most Lebanese do not have any respect for women, animals, nature, their country, other humans, each other, even themselves. What did you expect, you are insulting animals by calling Lebanese humans animals.

      It is very sad that we were once the cradle of civilisation and now reduced to a single cell Protozoa. Retarded and cannot even run a zoo properly, I cannot believe that people find that entertaining – WoW – a smoking chimpanzee in a 40m2 enclosure!!

      1.  Avatar

        evil people at its best

        definition of a libonais = modern day barbarian

  3. hehe imagine this chimp was in syria the intelligence would put him in jail for acting like a syrian or even worse they will keep on beating him till it confesses on how did she enter the country without a visa.

    ooooh maybe that chimp could act like a witness in the STL and testify lollllllll

  4. hehe imagine this chimp was in syria the intelligence would put him in jail for acting like a syrian or even worse they will keep on beating him till it confesses on how did she enter the country without a visa.

    ooooh maybe that chimp could act like a witness in the STL and testify lollllllll

  5. PROPHET.T Avatar

    What do you expect of people who abuse each other all the time?
    Just look at the way they treat their servants at home.
    Do you really expect them to treat animal any different?

  6. PROPHET.T Avatar

    What do you expect of people who abuse each other all the time?

    Just look at the way they treat their servants at home.

    Do you really expect them to treat animal any different?

  7. How crazy why do they take this chimp out of Lebanon what about the political chimps who talk nothing but smokie voices that do nothing for the Lebanese people or for the country. The pollies should have taken the trip as well maybe to an island and do what they do best NOTHING.
    Stop talking war and politics why dont we get kids of the streets and get them involved in sports and activities instead of them talking politics I have seen kids as young as 10 sit and discuss politics no wonder why they have so much hate and a one track mind. .

  8.  Avatar

    How crazy why do they take this chimp out of Lebanon what about the political chimps who talk nothing but smokie voices that do nothing for the Lebanese people or for the country. The pollies should have taken the trip as well maybe to an island and do what they do best NOTHING.

    Stop talking war and politics why dont we get kids of the streets and get them involved in sports and activities instead of them talking politics I have seen kids as young as 10 sit and discuss politics no wonder why they have so much hate and a one track mind. .

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