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Outraged animal rights activists call for zoo closure after video of 'smoking orangutan' surfaces

An orangutan was caught on video smoking a cigarette tossed into its enclosure at a zoo in Indonesia. (Image source: ABC News video screenshot)

Folks around the globe are outraged at an Indonesian zoo where a visitor captured a video that showed orangutan smoking a cigarette.

The video shot on Sunday quickly went viral after being shared. It has animal rights activists condemning zookeepers for their lack of supervision.

The video shows a man tossing his lit cigarette into the 22-year-old Bornean orangutan's enclosure at the Bandung Zoo, about 90 miles southeast of Jakarta. Then the orangutan named Odon picked up the lit cigarette, sat down and started puffing away.

What do the activists say?

A petition at change.org to "Shut down the Bandung Zoo now!" which was started last year has captured new attention after the orangutan incident and now has nearly 1 million signatures.

"Weak control by zoo management also needs to be addressed," Marison Guciano, founder of the Indonesia Animal Welfare Society, told The Jakarta Post.

"But the root of the problem is that we do not have animal welfare standards at zoos. Almost all zoos are in poor condition ... from the cages and feeding needs to the animals' health," Guciano added.

What did the zoo say?

Sulhan, a zoo spokesman who goes by one name, said the officer responsible for Odon might have been in the bathroom at the time of the incident.

"There's actually a sign at the location which says visitors are not allowed to give food and cigarettes to the animals," Sulhan said.

Have there been other problems at the zoo?

It's not the first time the zoo has received criticism for the treatment of its animals.

Last year, a video that showed skeletal bears begging for food at the Bandung Zoo went viral after being posted online.

What else?

A few years ago at another Indonesian zoo, an orangutan named Tori had a decade-long nicotine habit.

Tori got hooked from watching visitors and picking up their cigarette butts left behind.

Eventually, she had to be moved away from visitors' sight so she could kick the habit.

In 2012, Tori was clean and even gave birth to a healthy baby.

Orangutans are a critically endangered species, according to World Wildlife Fund.

One last thing…
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