Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Cigarette-Smoking Chimp Gets Lifetime Supply Of Gum

WESTFIELD, N.J. (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Keepers at the Bloemfontein Zoo in South Africa are trying to get a cigarette- addicted chimp to quit, and a gum manufacturer wants to help ease the primate’s pain.

XPL Innovations, which makes a peppermint chewing gum that’s supposed to help the body expel nicotine, recently sent a delivery of more than one thousand packs to “Charlie the Chimpanzee,” who’s been puffing coffin nails tossed to him by zoo visitors.

Unlike those smoking-cessation chewing gums, the so-called XPL Gum doesn’t contain any nicotine and isn’t designed to help humans – or chimps – quit tobacco.

Instead, it’s supposed to reduce the negative effects of smoking by cleaning the teeth, freshening the breath and clearing out some of the nicotine in the body.

The makers of the gum think the product could be good for Charlie, but it may not work out that way.

Karen Killmar, the Associate Curator of Mammals at the San Diego Zoo, says that unless Charlie has been trained to chew gum, it’s likely he’ll just swallow the stuff and gum up his system – if he decides to put it in his mouth at all.

(Contact numbers available only to subscribing media or trial media users. You can request samples at the Wireless Flash web site.)
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