Indonesian zoo slammed after orangutan caught smoking cigarette


The viral video was shot Sunday at Bandung Zoo, about 90 miles southeast of the capital, Jakarta.

An Indonesian zoo infamous for mistreatment of animals is being slammed again by animal rights activists after a video emerged of one of its orangutans smoking a cigarette.

The Bandung Zoo had been in the spotlight recently for its poor welfare standards.

The zoo has repeatedly made headlines for housing starving and sick animals.

"This orangutan at Bandung Zoo is given a cigarette by ignorant visitors". A petition calling for Bandung Zoo to be closed has almost 1 million signatures.

Marison Guciano, founder of the Indonesia Animal Welfare Society, told the BBC that he blamed the zoo's management and "weak control" for the orangutan incident.

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A spokesperson for the zoo said it regrets the incident, and pointed to a warning sign forbidding visitors from giving food and cigarettes to animals, according to the AFP. Tori, an orangutan famous for having a decade-long smoking habit in another Indonesian zoo, was reported to have picked up smoking from cigarette butts left by visitors. Indonesian zoos have always been under fire for their treatment of animals.

But, the officer responsible may have been in the bathroom at the time, he said.

In May 2016, Yani, a Sumatran elephant, was photographed there, reportedly "crying hours before it died".

The zoo where the latest incident took place was termed "death zoo" in the past, with activists calling for its closure, after a video released early 2017 showed skeletal-looking bear begging for food.

Jakarta Globe reported in 2015 that Indonesia now has 58 registered zoos but only four of them are properly accredited or considered passable by the government.