Smoking Orangutan Goes Cold Turkey

After a years of puffing away on cigarettes, an orangutan named Tori is forced to quit her habit.

Tori, a 15-year-old orangutan who lives in an Indonesian zoo, is being forced to give up her smoking habit. (Photo: Centre for Orangutan Protection)

Jul 6, 2012

Tori is a 15-year-old with a bad smoking habit she's being forced to give up. But Tori isn't like other teens--she's an orangutan at the Taru Jurug Zoo in Indonesia who's been puffing away for about a decade. 

The tobacoo addiction developed when visitors to the zoo would throw lit cigarettes into Tori's cage and shoot pictures of her taking long drags before blowing the smoke out through her nose. 

Zookeepers, along with the help of the Centre for Orangutan Protection, decided that come August, Tori and her partner Didik will move to a more remote zoo island away from the public. They hope that by being away from cigarette-throwing humans, she'll be able to quit cold turkey. Unlike Tori, Didik isn't fond of smoking, and instead has been seen stomping out cigarette butts when they are thrown to him, The Guardian reports. 

Although an orangutan with a tobacco dependence seems unusual, Tori isn't the only smoking primate. Shirley, a 20-year-old orangutan kept in a Malaysian zoo, had to face a similar relocation to quit her addiction.

Until the big move, zookeepers will put up a mesh netting around the cage to keep stray items away from Tori. Tests will determine how much smoking has affected her health. The center hopes that once her move to the island is complete, Tori will be able to forget about her habit and just enjoy nature. 

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