Why do Monkeys Smoke?
There have been several reports of many macaque monkeys stealing packs of cigarettes from venders at Angkor Park. Why do they do this? Well like humans the lure of the tobacco containing the calming effects of nicotine make it an irresistible treat. Monkeys are first introduced to this when tourists and local drop their cigarette butts on the ground. Of course, the monkeys are curious by nature and come to investigate. Once the cigarette is picked up it goes straight into the monkey’s mouth. It is then chewed and digested. Right away the nicotine is sent trough the blood stream and they feel the upshot of the high it brings with it. Nicotine is one of the most addicting drugs on the market today and monkeys are not immune.
The lure of such a treat will turn any honest monkey into a thief. The situation is unavoidable with so many tourists and locals having the same addiction as well. Once introduced to a cigarette they are hooked. Sweetpea suffered from this habit himself. And now Sok has become a smoker as well. He has been caught stealing cigarettes from venders which the cameramen pay for. Since there is no help for a monkey with this obsession, I suggest the vendors keep their tobacco products under lock and key. Written by Laura Tannehill