The Straits Times
Published on Sep 28, 2012

Smoking Indonesian orang utan gives birth


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.