Video captured by a visitor at the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Ho Chi Minh City shows a male Borneo orangutan puffing on a cigarette purportedly thrown by a visitor.
In the video, the orangutan is seen taking two long drags of the cigarette as he watches the crowd. He then stubs the butt out on a stone in front of him before tossing it away.
An unnamed spokesperson for Saigon Zoo stated that the orangutan was not handed a cigarette and explained that visitors often throw objects into the enclosure where the orangutan learns how to utilize them by observing visitors. The spokesperson also pointed out that security is unable to keep an eye on the area at all times and ensured that there were no cigarettes left in the enclosure after the discovery of the video.
Internet users and animal activists were appalled upon watching the video, with many concerned about the critically endangered orangutan’s health.
There is no good reason for a zoo. None. https://t.co/tXDJ89uszr
— 🇺🇸Lionel🇺🇸 (@LionelMedia) June 22, 2022
“Very sad sight to see. My mum used to tell me the story of a gorilla at Nairobi zoo, many many years ago, he’d beg for cigarettes and people used to give them lit for him to smoke,” one user recalled.
“Agree 100%. Animal reserves and rescue centers are the only places that should take care of or keep wild animals. I’ll never bring my kid to a zoo,” another user wrote.
Feature Image via N60tv YouTube