Zoo sends orangutan to private island to kick smoking habit

Friday, July 6, 2012

Looks like visitors of the the Taru Jurug zoo in Indonesia won't be seeing Tori, the 15-year-old orangutan for a while.
Tori learned to smoke 10 years ago by imitating zoo visitors, who would throw their cigarette butts into her open cage. She has been smoking ever since, according to activists. They say she holds up two fingers to her mouth to indicate she wants a cigarette and becomes angry and throws things if none are readily available.

Keepers at Taru Jurug zoo in Solo have unsuccessfully tried luring the ape away with food and extinguishing the butts with water.

Now the zoo, with help from the Borneo-based Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP), plans to move the 15-year-old primate and her partner to a small island on the premises by August. They hope the large trees, rope swings and views over the facility will make Tori forget about her nicotine fix. Until then, the centre has sent extra volunteers to guard the cage and will install mesh netting to prevent visitors from throwing in their butts.
The Guardian | via
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