No More Cigarettes for Smoking Orangutan

'Shirley' forced to quit cigarettes before move to new wildlife center
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2011 3:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – A chain-smoking orangutan who achieved notoriety when she became a symbol of Malaysia's horrid zoo conditions has been forced to quit her tobacco habit, reports the AP. The 20-year-old orangutan, Shirley, would smoke lit cigarettes thrown to her by zoo visitors. But now Malaysian wildlife officials have removed her from that facility and are preparing her to join a wildlife center on Borneo.

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The zoo director says Shirley is not being provided with any more cigarettes while she is in quarantine because "smoking is not normal behavior for orangutans." He adds that the move hasn't affected her mood or appetite. After a British animal activist group started an embarrassing campaign against Malaysian animal facilities earlier this year, wildlife officials took steps to improve conditions for animals in zoos there. (Read more Malaysia stories.)

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