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Jakarta Post

Bandung Police investigate 'smoking orangutan' animal abuse case

  • Arya Dipa

    The Jakarta Post

Bandung, West Java   /   Fri, March 9, 2018   /   12:22 pm
Bandung Police investigate 'smoking orangutan' animal abuse case Animal abuse: This video still taken on March 4 and released on March 7 by the Indonesia Animal Welfare Society shows a Bornean orangutan named Ozon smoking a cigarette in his enclosure at Bandung Zoo. The Bandung Police are investigating the case. (AFP/Handout / Indonesia Animal Welfare Society )

Bandung Police chief Sr. Comr. Hendro Pandowo has said the police were investigating a case of suspected animal abuse in which a visitor to Bandung Zoo reportedly tossed a lighted cigarette into an orangutan's enclosure.

The man, who apparently tossed a lighted cigarette toward a Bornean orangutan called Ozon, had fulfilled the police’s summons, Hendro said on Thursday.

He added that the suspect could be charged with violating Article 302 on animal abuse in the Criminal Code, which carried a maximum sentence of three months. The suspect could also face a nine-month imprisonment if the animal became seriously ill or died as a result of the abuse.

“He has not been arrested,” said Hendro, citing prevailing laws that it was up to the police whether to arrest a suspect for a violation that carries a sentence of less than five years. 

The case came to light in the wake of a viral video showing Ozon puffing on the cigarette, and was covered in international media.

Animal abuse cases involving visitors abusing zoo animals have recently caught the public eye. In November 2017, a young man was caught on video giving alcohol to animals at Taman Safari Indonesia (TSI) in Bogor, West Java. The man, identified as Philips Bondi, was taped by a relative, Alyssa Dwi Fitri Amanda, giving red wine to a deer and a hippopotamus at the popular safari park.

Philips publicly apologized for his behavior and declare that he would care for animals as part of his penitence. Philips and Alyssa also promised not to repeat their mistake, and not to release recordings without the park's consent.

“I deeply regret what I did to the animals at the TSI. I seek forgiveness from the TSI, the people of Indonesia and the international community for my mistake,” Bondi said in a press conference in December last year. (ebf)

Theresia Sufa from Bogor contributed to this story.