Orangutan Needs to Quit Smoking
A state run zoo in Malaysia is losing several of its animals. Officials deemed they were living in poor conditions. Shirley a large orangutan has been seen smoking. She gets the cigarettes from visitors to the zoo and they believe she is now addicted. The behavior probably started from mimicking zoo workers, and then turned into an addiction. There are reports of her seeming depressed or overly agitated if she does not have a cigarette.
Shirley is not being given more cigarettes as it is not normal orangutan behavior to smoke. She is in quarantine at another zoo in a neighboring state before going to a wildlife refuge in Borneo next week. She appears healthy, however her lab results are not back yet.
Nature Alert, a British-based activist group, wrote to Malaysian officials about Shirley earlier this year, saying conservationists who visited the Johor zoo often saw people throwing lit cigarettes to her in a pit-like enclosure. From The Associated Press.