Activist says Indonesian zoo lets orangutans smoke

AP News
Posted: Sep 16, 2011 9:23 AM
Activist says Indonesian zoo lets orangutans smoke

A wildlife activist says that zoo officials in Indonesia are taking no steps to stop orangutans from smoking cigarettes, unlike in Malaysia.

Visitors to the Taru Jurug Zoo in Solo, a city on Java island, have been giving cigarettes to the endangered red apes for years.

One young male was captured on video shortly before his death in 2009 smoking with his 5-year-old son.

Hardi Baktiantoro, director of the Center for Orangutan Protection, said Friday the youngster can still be seen puffing away at the zoo today as keepers look on.

Earlier this week, a wildlife official in Malaysia said a smoking orangutan at a state-run zoo in Johor state was seized and placed into quarantine. Officials say they want to help her quit.