18 Sep 2011

Zoos accused of letting orangutans smoke

2:46 pm on 18 September 2011

A wildlife campaigner in Indonesia has accused zoos there of doing nothing to stop orangutans from smoking cigarettes.

Hardi Baktiantoro at the Centre for Orangutan Protection says zoo visitors regard orangutans smoking as entertainment.

He says the zoos have no proper system for stopping visitors giving the animals cigarettes.

Earlier this month in Malaysia, an orangutan famous for smoking cigarettes thrown into her enclosure by visitors was put into isolation to help her kick the habit.

The BBC reports orangutans are native to small parts of Indonesia and Malaysia and are under threat of extinction from deforestation and poaching.