The image of an orangutan smoking a cigarette is one that probably gets a few chuckles, but it’s one that has actually stirred up a very serious reaction. Tori, a fifteen year old Indonesian Orangutan has been smoking for years. It’s that reason why she has been one of the biggest draws at her zoo, but the officials at the zoo are not big fans of Tori’s bad habit.
Part of why she picked up the habit stems from the fact that orangutans are extremely smart and pick up the habits of others. The public smoking laws in Indonesia (in fact the majority of their cigarette laws, almost to a fault) are far more relaxed than the ones in the rest of the world. Tori started smoking when visitors to the zoo would start throwing lit cigarettes into her cage. It didn’t take long for her to see people smoking or for her to start smoking herself.
Zoo officials are working to get Tori to finally kick the habit. The reason for the effort is that Tori isn’t the only orangutan at the zoo. There are four other endangered orangutans, and the zoo officials want to be sure that they are as healthy and alive for as long as possible. To help make this happen they are cutting Tori off from the public for awhile in an effort to break her addiction. Her cage will be altered to prevent people from being able to throw cigarettes into it and she will eventually be released onto a smaller island.
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