​Tori: Smoking Orangutan Separated From From Zoo Patrons

By:
Follow Twitter:
July 9, 2012

Share this article

Tori is a 15-year-old orangutan with a bad smoking habit as visitors throw lit cigarettes into her cage at Satwa Taru Jurug zoo in Solo, Central Java, Indonesia, to take pictures of her puffing away and flicking ashes.

The problem has become so big that Zookeepers plan to separate her from patrons so that she doesn’t mimic human behavior by taking long drags and blowing bursts of smoke out of her nostrils.

Taru Jurug Zoo director Lili Krisdianto said the move was aimed to protect four endangered orangutans at the 14-hectare (35-acre) zoo in the Central Java town of Solo, according to the New York Daily News.

Results of a medical test are expected Saturday to determine how much Tori’s smoking has affected her health, said Hardi Baktiantoro of the Borneo-based Center for Orangutan Protection, which is helping to co-ordinate the intervention.

Several Indonesian zoos have come under scrutiny following animal deaths, including a giraffe that died in the long-troubled Surabaya Zoo in March with an 40-pound ball of plastic in its stomach after years of ingesting trash thrown into its enclosure by visitors.

Indonesia is also one of the last remaining countries where tobacco companies face few restrictions on selling, advertising and promoting products long banned elsewhere.

More than 60 percent of all men light up and a third of the country’s entire population smokes.