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Orangutan Quits Cigarettes In Cold Turkey Rescue September 23, 2011
Newspaper coverage of smoking orangutan.
Malaysia's The Star newspaper highlighted the plight of chain-smoking Shirley.
A chain-smoking orangutan forced to live in “deplorable” conditions in a Malaysian zoo has been rescued and helped to kick the habit.

“Shirley” had been allowed to smoke cigarettes thrown to her by visitors of the Johor Zoo, about 40 miles northwest of Singapore, until a dramatic photo and description of her living conditions were published in The Star.

Authorities seized the adult ape, along with several other neglected animals, and put them in quarantine at another zoo in a neighboring state.

“I would say she is not addicted ... but she might have formed a habit after mimicking human beings who were smoking around her,” Melaka Zoo Director Ahmad Azhar Mohammed told The Associated Press.

He said that following her transfer, Shirley had not displayed any obvious signs of depression, changes in appetite or other symptoms that would indicate nicotine withdrawal.

Shirley was expected to be sent to a wildlife center on the island of Borneo within weeks.

Photo: The Star (Malaysia)