This Smoking Magpie is the British Pizza Rat
We may be in a golden era of animals with human vices. There was pizza rat, the indomitable rodent with an appetite that far outsized his (her?) ability to carry a slice of pizza. (Note: this may or may not be a hoax.) Then there was selfie rat, who couldn’t resist an opportunity to preen in front of a camera. (Almost surely a hoax.) And then there is Britain’s answer to the viral urban pest: the smoking magpie.
A Twitter user posted the snapshot of a magpie in the UK with a smoke firmly clutched in its beak, captioning it “Meanwhile in Manchester.” New Yorkers can't resist a dollar slice, and apparently Mancunians (feathered ones, anyway) can’t resist a cigarette break. The tweet went viral in the 24 hours after it was posted.
This is, oddly enough, not the first time the Internet has become enamored of a magpie with a smoking habit. The birds seem to have a penchant for picking up cigarettes and various other rolled packets of plant matter. It's hard to resist the lure of an animal with human interests, but can someone please get to work on some avian anti-tobacco PSAs?