Smoke Break

“Captain Jiggs smokes a cigarette after getting a haircut” is the note scrawled on the back of this photo inside the archive of American Museum of Natural History. The Captain belonged to a woman named Gertrude Lintz who used to drive her pet chimps and gorillas around New York City in the passenger seat of her car and dressed them like little hairy humans throughout the 1920s and 30s.

Last fall, Shirley, an Indonesian orangutan addicted to smoking was forced to quit. Next thing you know, we’ll have primates asking how to become a real estate agent or a doctor.

She wasn’t alone. Orangs can become addicted to nicotine just like us.

Tomorrow, April 22 at 1pm at the Headlands Center for the Arts I will spend exactly 8 minutes talking about animals on drugs. Come one come all.

(Next week: animals and alcohol)

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