July 27, 2012
Tori, The Smoking Orangutan Moved To New Enclosure
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Tori, the smoking orangutan, has finally been moved into her new cage on the other side of the zoo to remove her not only from her ciggy source but also from the pressure of her peers to light up.
The Taru Jurug zoo in Solo, Indonesia, is moving Tori to a small island in the middle of a small lake inside the zoo after animal activists began to call for action to snuff out Tori´s smoking.
Now, Tori will not only be separated from her enablers, she´ll also be separated from her long-time partner, 23-year old Didik. Both the Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP) and the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JJN) worked together to bring Tori to her new house and a new, smoke-free life.
“One of zoo problems in Indonesia is the visitors tease the animals,” said Lilik Kristianto, the Director of Taru Jurug zoo in a statement.
Indonesia, as it turns out, is a very smoker-friendly nation, with 70% of men over 20 lighting up when they get the chance. One day ten years or so ago, one of these smoking zoo visitors carelessly flicked their butt into Tori´s cage. Once Tori figured out how to smoke, she began asking zoo visitors for smokes by holding two fingers up to her mouth, pantomiming having a cigarette. This has now become a bit of a game between Tori and zoo visitors, as someone will light a fresh smoke and flick it towards her cage. The smoking orangutan then springs into action, putting on a show for her admiring, puffing fans. Didik, it should be mentioned, never cared for this game, and would rush over to stamp out the butts as soon as they landed in the orangutans´ cage.
“Although there is a signage to do not give food or cigarette to the animals, but the people are still doing it and make a fun of it. Even, sometimes the visitors are trying to hurt the animals,” continued Kristianto.
“This relocation is a permanent solution for this problem, and also providing better facilities that resemble to their habitat in the wild. Tori can climb to 5 big trees in this island. This could be one of the best enclosure in Indonesia.”
Tori won´t be the only animal receiving special treatment, of course. According to the press release, it appears as if the entire zoo will undergo some updates in the future.
“We are very pleased to hear Solo government´s plan to build Taru Jurug as modern zoo like in developed countries, so in the future there will be no animals behind the bars, but the animals will be put in the enclosure or in the open cage that resemble to the animal´s habitat. This system will make the animals have a good life, and reach out from the visitors who love to tease them. The animals will have healthy and happy life, and this much more better rather than to see stressful and suffering animals,” said Krisitanto.
As Tori is weaned from cigarettes in the coming months, the Taru Jurug zoo will assign interpreters to inform zoo-goers about the health and well-being of the orangutans, as well as explain why Tori is now being kept in the middle of an island in the middle of a lake, just out of butt´s reach.