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Indonesia Zoo Helping Orangutan Quit Smoking After 10 Years (Video)

Indonesia Zoo Helping Orangutan Quit Smoking After 10 Years (Video)

Zookeepers at Taru Jurug Zoo in Indonesia are seeking to help a 15-year-old orangutan, Tori, quit smoking. Tori started smoking after visitors threw lit cigarettes in her cage. They have continued to do so they can take photographs of her puffing and exhaling – -something they clearly find amusing instead of disturbing and even abusive.

After determining how smoking has affected Tori’s health, zookeepers plan to first place a mesh cover her cage and to have more volunteers guard her cage. Then they plan to move her to a small island away from the public, with help from the Borneo-based Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP). The island has large trees and rope swings and it is hoped that these will help her get over her habit.

Keepers have tried to lure Tori away from the cigarettes with food and to extinguish the, with water, but to no avail.

Tori’s partner, Didik, does not like her habit and stamps out the lit cigarettes thrown into the cage. Tori is then “said to get irritable and throw things when she cannot get her nicotine fix.”

While calling Tori the dubious title of “Indonesia’s most famous smoking orangutan,” the Guardian notes that her parents were both smokers too. Hardi Baktiantoro of the COP says that many of the zoo’s orangutan’s are thought to be addicted to smoking.

Visitors clearly found the sight of a smoking orangutan amusing but the zoo needed to take more serious measures long ago. Zookeepers in Indonesia have also come under fire for neglect in caring for animals: Two years ago, about 25 of the 4,000 animals (including a Sumatran tiger and an African lion) in Surabaya zoo in East Java were reported to be dying prematurely a month. In March, a 30-year giraffe was found dead with a 39.7 pound ball of plastic in its stomach, from consuming the littler visitors had thrown into its pen.

It all makes you wonder, whose behavior is the most “wild.”



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Photo by Schristia

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3:19AM PDT on Jun 19, 2014

Wonderful, just what a blog it is! This blog has provided the helpful data to us continue the good work. stillare atomizer

6:31PM PDT on Aug 21, 2013

Unbelievably sad and cruel.

12:18AM PDT on May 28, 2013

Thanks friends, for providing such enlightening data.

8:24PM PDT on Mar 23, 2013


1:24PM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

Its sick that tourists found this funny, its uncalled for and cruel!

10:53PM PDT on Jul 25, 2012

Stupid tourists. That zoo needs to pull it together. Quick.

6:45PM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

It's about dang time that they got this animal to stop smoking. I was appalled when I first found out that she was smoking and people thought it was funny.

11:48AM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

unbelievable and well said sarah b

5:56AM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

milked him for tourism cash they realise the ill effects on him???......cruelty to the core.

6:14AM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

I've always wondered what might be the effects of smoking on intelligence. Since the zookeepers are scrutinizing the smoking orangutan's health anyway, maybe they'd also consider giving the ape some intelligence tests (there are a few designed for animals) before, during, and at intervals after the withdrawal process.

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