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A zoo has come under fire after a video showed a baby monkey taking a puff of a cigarette as their latest "anti-smoking campaign".

The baby monkey, named Banjin, is one of the new residents in Hengshui Wildlife Park in Hebei province of northern China.

The video, which went viral on Chinese app Douyin, shows little Banjin sitting on a small bench and holding a lit cigarette in his mouth.

Seconds later, a woman behind the camera removes the cigarette and the macaque falls off the bench, hitting the ground.

An overlay text wrote: "Oops, it's hitting him. Smoking is harmful to one's health."

The woman places a thin towel over Banjin, who looks glassy while blank staring in the room.

The video has sparked outrage online and the staff has taken down the video since, saying the captive monkeys don't usually smoke.

They explained that they post the video online to raise awareness against smoking.

But viewers were enraged, claiming it is animal abuse.

One wrote: "He fell over on his back like he was dizzy and sick."

"A zoo should know better than doing this," another said. "They supposed to care about the animals."

Douyin users also found other videos under the zoo's account which shows the caretakers making the monkeys to do tricks in the enclosure.

A spokesperson for the wildlife protection unit at Hengshui Natural Resources and Planning Authority said: "There are national regulations regarding the use of wild animals for exhibition purposes and no cruelty to wild animals is allowed.

"The zoo has the administrative permission needed for the exhibit.

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"We have informed the zoo that animal cruelty is strictly prohibited."

The smoking monkey video is the latest in a list of controversies surrounding animal welfare in China.

Just last May, the "blind box" craze – in which pets were sealed and sold in 'mystery boxes' for about £1.2 each – swept through online shoppers in the country.

Animal activists rescued around 160 cats and dogs, some of which had died during transit due to suffocation.

  • Animals
  • Monkeys
  • Smoking
  • Fire
  • China

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