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Zoo wants orangutan to quit smoking

July 5, 2012 at 1:39 PM

SOLO, Indonesia, July 5 (UPI) -- An Indonesian zoo's orangutan may be moved to a small island with her mate to help her quit smoking, officials said.

The Center for Orangutan Protection and officials at Solo's Taru Jurug Zoo said getting Tori the orangutan to quit smoking has been difficult due to zoo visitors throwing cigarettes into her cage, the Jakarta Globe reported Thursday.

"We have proposed that the zoo place her on the island, in the middle of the lake, to keep her away from visitors," COP coordinator Daniek Hendarto said.

Zoo officials, who said they are considering the COP's island scheme for Tori and her mate, Didik, said they have tried to curb Tori's habit, which she learned from watching zoo visitors, but forcing her to quit has proven difficult as patrons continue to throw lit cigarettes into her cage.

"Animal keepers have warned the visitors several times, but they keep on giving cigarettes, as the animal keepers are not watching them all the time," Daniek said.

However, officials said Didik refuses to smoke and will stamp out lit cigarettes when he is able to reach them before Tori.

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