A video has shown the sickening moment an orangutan was seen puffing on a cigarette after it was thrown into its enclosure at a zoo in Saigon.
The video of the male orangutan sitting on the floor casually holding a cigarette between his fingers like a human was captured at Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Ho Chi Minh City
He then watches the crowd before taking two long drags on the cigarette and stubbing it out carefully on some stones.
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The critically endangered ape, originally from Borneo, then checks the butt to make sure it is put out properly, despite the zoo's claims that the orangutan had not been given a cigarette and had found it after it was thrown by a visitor.
The spokesman – not named in local media – said: "People often throw things into the animal's cages and the orangutan learns how to use these objects by seeing how people use them."
They also added that their security staff don't have the capacity to keep an eye on everything all the time and when they were made aware of the clip they made sure there were no more cigarettes in the cage and others.
Local news reports claim that there have been many incidents of visitors throwing rubbish in the animal cages despite notices warning them not to.
Animal lovers and activists were left disgusted by the clip as they took to Twitter, condemning whoever discarded the cigarette.
One user said: "Poor thing locked up and copying human traits. I don't find it funny, just sad at what we do to these obviously intelligent animals."
Another wrote: "Everyone smokes in Saigon, I guess someone showed the orangutan how to smoke. I’ve seen it done before. Appalling.
"I guess it makes the humans feel more powerful, that they’ve addicted this being to a harmful substance."
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The news comes after Scottish scientists have developed a "monkey media player" to give a group of zoo animals some much-needed entertainment, with access to music and movie streaming.
Researchers at the University of Glasgow gave touchscreen devices to a group of monkeys at a zoo in Finland, so they could access special monkey media.
A computer was placed inside an enclosure for 32 days, giving the monkeys access to videos of worms, aquariums, and shapes. They could also listen to rain noises, traffic, or music.
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