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Indonesian zoo wants orangutan to quit smoking

(AP) JAKARTA, Indonesia - Indonesian zookeepers have moved an orangutan out of visitors' sight so she'll no longer smoke lit cigarettes people regularly throw into her cage.

Smoking orangutan in Malaysia forced to kick the habit

Taru Jurug Zoo spokesman Daniek Hendarto said Thursday that Tori and her male companion, Didik, were moved Wednesday to a small island within the zoo. There are four endangered orangutans at the zoo in the Central Java town of Solo.

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The 15-year-old Tori has been smoking for a decade. She mimics humans by holding cigarettes casually between her fingers while visitors watch and photograph her puffing away and flicking ashes on the ground.

In this photo taken Monday, Jan. 25, 2010, an orangutan, called Shirley, smokes at Johor Zoo in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The captive orangutan often spotted smoking cigarettes given to her by zoo visitors is being forced to kick the habit, a Malaysian wildlife official said Sept. 12, 2011. AP Photo

Hendarto said recent medical tests show the four primates are in good condition. The two other orangutans will be moved later to another island.

This is not the first time action has been required for a primate with a liking for tobacco. Government authorities in Malaysia seized an adult ape named Shirley after she developed a habit of smoking cigarettes given to her by visitors.

Melaka Zoo director Ahmad Azhar Mohammed said it didn't appear Shirley had an addiction, but rather "formed a habit after mimicking human beings who were smoking around her.

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