Indonesia's Famous 'Smoking Orangutan' to Be Moved Away From Visitors Who Encourage Bad Habit

Staffers at Indonesia's Taru Jurug zoo are hoping that moving Tori the orangutan away from visitors will help curb a decade-old smoking habit that has become a full-blown addiction.

Zoo patrons regularly toss cigarette butts into Tori's enclosure in order to capture photos of the "smoking orangutan." Tori herself regularly "requests" cigarettes by holding two fingers up to her mouth, and reportedly becomes agitated if guests don't deliver.

Keepers have teamed up with the Borneo-based Centre for Orangutan Protection to move Tori and her partner, Didik, to an island located on zoo grounds that will provide the pair with some privacy and give Tori the time she needs away from cigarettes.

To ensure that visitors quit their own filthy habit of butt throwing, the new enclosure will be guarded and mesh netting will be installed.

The results of Tori's medical exam are due this Saturday, and zoo employees are eager to find out how years of smoking have affected the 15-year-old great ape.

While this initiative solves one problem, The Guardian notes that smoking animals is an Indonesian problem that goes beyond one primate.

"It is very common in Indonesian zoos for people to throw cigarettes or food [at animals] even though there are signs to not feed or give cigarettes," Hardi Baktiantoro of the Orangutan protection group. "It happens all the time. [In Tori's case], people will throw cigarettes in, watch her smoke, start laughing and take pictures."

[Arbroath, screengrab, video via ITN]