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Smoking Indonesian orang utan gives birth

Published on Sep 28, 2012 6:09 PM
Tori, the 15-year-old orangutan famed for smoking when she was five, holds her days-old baby at the zoo in Solo-Central Java, on Sept 28, 2012. A smoking orangutan who became the star attraction in an Indonesian zoo gave birth to a baby orangutan this week, a zoo official said. -- PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (AFP) - An orang utan famous for puffing on cigarettes gave birth this week at an Indonesian zoo, an official said on Friday, in a rare event giving a boon to the critically endangered species.

Tori, 15, gave birth on Wednesday in the central Javanese city of Solo, Taru Jurug Zoo director Lilik Kristanto said. "The delivery took place naturally without human intervention," he said.

Visitors had for 10 years tossed cigarettes to the famous smoking orang utan, who was moved in July to a 200m island at the zoo to force her to quit cold turkey.

Mr Kristanto said Tori gave birth on the island, where she is being kept with her mate and baby. "We're very happy. The baby is healthy and Tori is a good mother," he said, adding that the orang utan smoked through most of her pregnancy.

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