Indonesia zoo condemned after orangutan is seen smoking cigarette



An Indonesia zoo notorious for its mistreatment of animals is being slammed after a video showing an orangutan smoking a cigarette in the zoo emerged online.

In the video, a visitor can be seen throwing a cigarette into the primate's enclosure at Bandung Zoo on Sunday, southwest of Jakarta. Ozon, a 22-year-old orangutan, picked up the cigarette and started smoking.

The zoo staff expressed their regret for this incident and they said the person guarding the enclosure might have been on a break when the incident happened. Indonesia has one of the highest smoking rates in the world and a bad record of animal protection, BBC reported.

Sulhan, spokesperson for the Bandung Zoo, said that there were measures taken previously to help prevent something like this from happening. “There is actually a sign at the location which says visitors are not allowed to give food, not to say a cigarette to the animals,” said Sulhan.

Marison Guciano, the founder of the Indonesia Animal Welfare Society, condemned the Bandung Zoo as being “out of control.” He said the smoking incident is further evidence of a lack of supervision and a need for educating visitors.

The zoo has repeatedly made headlines for its poor conditions and sick animals. “Almost all zoos are in poor condition…from the cages and feedings needs to the animals’ health,” Marison Guciano said. The zoo has been temporarily ordered to close in 2016 after a Sumatran elephant was found dead.

A petition on calling for the closure of Bandung Zoo has received nearly one million signatures. There are even some visitors who complained on TripAdvisor that the facility was dirty and were poor conditions for animals. People were also concerned after a video showing sun bears at Bandung looking thin and begging for food from visitors in July 2016.

This is not the first an animal smoking case has been reported. In 2010, a South African chimpanzee named Charlie famous for his smoking habit died at the age of 52, BBC reported. The petition also warns visitors to not feed animals or give them anything bad for their health.