Tori the Smoking Orangutan to be Sent to Rehab

Tori the Smoking Orangutan to be Sent to Rehab

Zookeepers in Indonesia have been forced to move an orangutan out of visitors’ reach after it developed a serious smoking habit.

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.

Interestingly, Tori’s partner Didik, who is a newcomer to the zoo, refuses to smoke. When visitors throw lit cigarettes to him, he stamps them out.

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