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No more smoking for orangutan after rescue

A cigarette-smoking orangutan will be forced to kick her habit now that she has been rescued from the zoo where officials said she was kept in poor conditions, AFP reports.

The orangutan, Shirley, used to amuse visitors at the Malaysian zoo when they would throw cigarette butts in her cage and she would smoke them, the news source reports. However, she, a tiger and other animals from the state-run zoo in Johor were taken by authorities after reports of bad conditions for the animals.

The primate, Shirley, will not be provided with more cigarettes at the Melaka Zoo, where Director Ahmad Azhar Mohammed says that she is not addicted, but picked up the habit from the people around her, according to CBS News.

Ahmad said that Shirley has been displaying a regular appetite for food and no obvious signs of depression or illness since she was forced to quit smoking cold turkey, the news source reports.

Earlier this year, a British activist group, Nature Alert, wrote to Malaysian officials about Shirley's smoking habit, reporting that visitors would throw cigarettes to her and that she seemed to suffer severe mood swings, acting drowsy or agitated without a cigarette.  
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