BEIJING, March 27 (Xinhua) -- A tortoise who enjoys a good smoke has been discovered in northeast China's Jilin Province, a local newspaper reported.
The smoking tortoise is the pet of a Chinese man surnamed Yun from Yongji County. He has kept the animal as a pet for nearly four years, according to the City Evening News.
Yun, himself a smoker, one day teased the tortoise by putting a cigarette butt into its mouth. To his surprise, it smoked, the paper said. From then on, he often shared his cigarettes with his pet.
"It seems to have become addicted," Yun was quoted as saying. "Whenever I smoke in front of it, it will stick its head out of the water and fidget about until I give it the stub."
To prove his claim, Yun put a cigarette into the tortoise's mouth in the presence of the paper's reporter and his neighbors, said the report.
To everyone's surprise, the animal finished smoking the cigarette in less than four minutes -- even faster than most men do, and seemed to be enjoying the process.
Tang Jingwen, the deputy secretary-general of the Wildlife Conservation Society of Jilin City, said he was quite surprised by the news.
He knew about monkeys who smoked out of imitation of human beings, but had never heard of a tortoise lighting up.