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Orangutan filmed smoking cigarette at Ho Chi Minh City zoo

Orangutan filmed smoking cigarette at Ho Chi Minh City zoo

Sunday, June 19, 2022, 11:51 GMT+7
Orangutan filmed smoking cigarette at Ho Chi Minh City zoo
An orangutan smokes a cigarette at the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Ho Chi Minh City in this still photo taken from a viral video.

Concerns were sparked after a video clip of an orangutan smoking a cigarette at a zoo in Ho Chi Minh City was shared on social media on Saturday.

In the video filmed by a visitor at the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, the orangutan is seen smoking a cigarette just like a human being.

After finishing, the wild animal even extinguished the cigarette before throwing it away.

An employee of the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Saturday that some visitors must have thrown the burning cigarette into the cage of the orangutan.

“People often throw objects into the cage, and the orangutan can learn how to use them by imitation,” the employee said.

Employees and security guards are unable to fully monitor the situation at all cages given the large number of visitors, he continued, adding that the staff had immediately checked the orangutan cage as well as other cages following the report of the incident.

A man throws an empty water bottle into an animal cage at the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Ho Chi Minh City, June 18, 2022.

There were about 500 visitors at the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens on Saturday morning.

Tuoi Tre correspondents recorded several incidents where people threw food and rubbish into the cages of orangutans, chimpanzees, bears, and leopards despite the prohibition signs.

Pham Van Tan, director of the zoo, asserted that the zoo did not teach the orangutan how to smoke.

The primate might have learned it by imitating visitors, Tan continued.

Tan called on people to comply with regulations at the zoo and stop throwing objects into the cages as the action can frighten or injure the animals.

A sign telling visitors not to disturb or feed the animals at the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Luu Duyen / Tuoi Tre

A sign telling visitors not to disturb or feed the animals at the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Luu Duyen / Tuoi Tre

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Duy Khang / Tuoi Tre News

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