Smoking orangutan moves to island to kick habit
Before moving to her new island, Tori smokes a cigarette discarded by a zoo visitor.
July 26th, 2012
12:22 PM ET

Smoking orangutan moves to island to kick habit

Call it an orangutan detox facility.

It's an island in the middle of a lake in Indonesia's Taru Jurug Zoo, and it's where Tori, the smoking orangutan, will be spending her days.

The 13-year-old primate picked up the habit by grabbing still-burning butts discarded in her enclosure by zoo visitors and imitating their actions, zoo officials told the Jakarta Globe.

Signs warned against the practice, but zoo visitors paid no heed, the zoo's director, Lilik Kristianto, told the Globe.

“A common problem for zoos in Indonesia are naughty visitors,” the director is quoted as saying. “Although there are sign prohibiting them from giving food or cigarettes to the animals, they keep on doing it. It is not rare that visitors even hurt the animals.”

Besides keeping puffing visitors at a safe distance, the island will have other advantages over the concrete cage Tori has called home at the zoo in Solo.

“Tori can climb five big trees on the island. This might be the best orangutan enclosure in Indonesia,” the zoo director is quoted as saying.

Tori isn't alone on the island. A male, Didik, has joined her.

But Didik has no need for rehab. While Tori would puff on the butts, Didik used to stamp them out, the Globe reported.

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Filed under: Animals • Indonesia • Orangutan