The Satwa Taru Jurug zoo in Indonesia announced that it is launching an intervention for Tori, a 15-year-old orangutan with a smoking problem. The great ape started the habit about 10 years ago by picking up old cigarette butts and imitating the people she saw. After that, zoo visitors began throwing lit cigarettes into her enclosure.
The zoo has decided that it would set additional volunteers to watch Tori's home and putting up a mesh screen so she cannot reach any cigarettes. She and her mate will soon be moved to an island preserve where she will have even more distance from visitors and possible sources of nicotine. According to The Associated Press, the Center for Orangutan Protection is helping to launch the intervention to stop Tori's smoking cold turkey and will test how the nicotine has impacted Tori's health.
Tori will probably have a much harder time breaking the addiction than a person would, since humans have countless apps, tools, and support groups to help them quit. It's unclear why it took a decade of this behavior to attract the attention of either the zoo's management or animal rights activists. Sadly, questionable leadership at Indonesian zoos is not uncommon. The AP reported that several zoos in the country have come under scrutiny following animal deaths.
To help counteract this disturbing news, take a look at this happier video of a baby orangutan getting some love from another member of the animal kingdom. Or check out a tinier monkey having a blast with an iPhone.
[Image credit: NewsFork]
More from Tecca: