Indonesia can now add a smoking orangutan to its roster of nicotine addicts.
A video taken recently shows the beast picking up a cigarette butt that was flicked into its zoo enclosure by a visitor and then puffing away on it like a pro.
The images of 22-year-old Bornean orangutan Ozon at the zoo in Bandung, about 150 kilometers southeast of Jakarta, promptly went viral.
This not the first that a zoo orangutan has been caught sneaking a smoke in Indonesia, which has an abysmal record of animal protection and one of the world’s highest smoking rates. In 2012 a great ape at another zoo became a nicotine addict after picking up butts, and had to be forced to quit cold turkey.
A Bandung zoo spokesman on Wednesday said that while the incident was regrettable, it has staff to guard the animal enclosures.
But the officer responsible may have been in the bathroom at the time, he added. “There’s actually a sign at the location which says visitors are not allowed to give food and cigarettes to the animals,” said spokesman Sulhan, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.
Animal activists condemned the visitor’s actions but said it underlined the poor state of Indonesia’s zoos. “Weak control by zoo management also needs to be addressed,” said Marison Guciano, founder of the Indonesia Animal Welfare Society.
New home found for Sandra the orangutanA Brazilian nature reserve has agreed to take in an orangutan who shot to fame ... Variety
Egypt’s scorching heatwave kills ‘Bongo’ the orangutanAt least 76 people have died from sweltering temperatures as Regional ... Variety
Goodbye hookahs? Smoking in the UAE accounts for 3,000 deaths per yearIt may be time to set your hookah cravings aside and halt the ash formations. A ... Variety
Children in Portuguese village encouraged to smoke to mark Christian festivalChristian Epiphany celebrations took place around the world on January 6, however ... Art and culture
Images of children smoking shisha in Egypt prompt online rageEgyptian tweeters have shared photos showing children aged 11 and under smoking ... Variety