Orangutan Needs to Quit Smoking

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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.


Retired2hunt's picture

  Well some good has come


Well some good has come from this bad publicity.  Here is a link to an update - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-14880804

Yes, some countries just don't have the same animal management focus.  It appears that this Orangutan was somebodies pet prior to coming to the first zoo and learned the smoking habit from the private owner and then the visitors at the zoo continued it - most likely a smoker threw a lit cigarette into the cage and the Orangutan picked it up based on experience and then the publicity and more lit cigarettes being thrown into the cage.  Nice humans - not!!!

It is good to see that this Orangutan is getting the proper care and being moved to a Borneo facility where it can live out its life - smoke free!


hunter25's picture

In ways this is a similar

In ways this is a similar situation to the crocodile in the philippines. these countries just don't treat animals with the same respect as we do over here. Hopefully they can get this one straightened out and back on the right track.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

I don't even know what to

I don't even know what to think about this.  Huh......

niceshot_smitty's picture

i have heard of this before. 

i have heard of this before.  i think it was a story like a year ago.  it is a shame that they would let them do this.  i feel for them. 

GooseHunter Jr's picture

When I first rwad the header

When I first rwad the header I thought it was going to be sort of spoof story, but it really is legit.  Weird to see a photo of an anumal like that with smoke coming from it nose and a cigarete in it's mouth.  Hopefully she did not do too much damage to herself and will be able to get over her addiction.  Shame on the vistors for even throwing her the lit cigarettes.