The Bloemfontein Zoo and how an animal developed a smoking habit
The city of Bloemfontein has been touted as a major tourism and cultural hub of South Africa, boasting of many astounding attractions which bring people from all over the country to the city every year, with millions of tourists visiting.
And if there is one attraction that stands out or can be regarded as the most popular of them all, and for which reason people travel from near and far to the city, then it is the ever popular Bloemfontein zoo situated right in the heart of the city.
The zoo was originally built in 1920 making it one of the oldest and most iconic zoos in Africa, with an envious animal population that runs into hundreds of different wildlife species.
The 15 hectares land zoo is also well known for its large collection of primates; most of whom can be seen swinging from trees to trees when taking strolls through the facility. Equally the zoo boasts of a large bird population as well as other mammals including the lion, tiger, elephants, giraffe and other endangered wildlife species.
For visitors who may want to spend more than a few hours there, Bloemfontein Zoo provides accommodation services that enable visitors to spend the night at the facility at a small fee.
A couple of years ago, one of the apes in the zoo, known as Charlie the Ape was discovered to have developed a smoking habit after continuously seeing visitors stroll through the zoo smoking and mimicking them. Efforts were made by animal experts and vets to help Charlie quit the bad habit. Charlie died in 2010 aged 52.