Smoking orangutan forced to butt-out

Jul 07, 2012, 05:13 IST | Agencies

An orangutan is being sent to rehab for smoking after getting hooked on butts visitors have been throwing into her cage for years.

Tori the orangutan started smoking 10 years ago after imitating the behaviour of visitors puffing away at Taru Jurug zoo in Solo, Java.

Now, when a craving strikes, she holds two fingers to her mouth and becomes irritated when she cannot get her fix.

Her partner Didik disapproves of the habit and stamps out the cigarettes whenever possible. Spokesman for the Borneo-based Center for Orang-utan Protection, Hardi Baktiantoro, said the orangutans would be moved to a small island in the middle of a lake where the large trees and rope swings would help distract her and break her addiction.

“It is very common in Indonesian zoos for people to throw cigarettes or food [at animals] even though there are signs to not feed or give cigarettes.”

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