Man says sorry for offering orangutan cigarette

JAKARTA: A 27-year-old man who has been named a suspect of animal abuse says he is ready to face the consequences of his alleged crime.

DJ, who sells fried fish dumpling for a living in the West Java city of Cimahi, turned himself in to police on Thursday after video footage went viral in social media showing a Bornean orangutan called Ozon smoke a cigarette tossed by a visitor at Bandung Zoo.

Accompanied by his wife and their child, DJ went to Bandung Zoo on Friday to apologise.

DJ, who had visited the zoo with his wife and child on Sunday, said he had had no intention to hurt any animal there.

“When I arrived at the orangutan cage, [Ozon] was smoking a cigarette. Not long after that, he finished smoking. When I approached him, he held up his hand toward me. I spontaneously lit a cigarette and tossed it to him, without thinking about the impact of what I was doing,” DJ told journalists at the Bandung Police in West Java on Friday.

West Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Agung Budi Maryoto confirmed that DJ had been named a suspect of animal abuse based on Article 302 of the Criminal Code. “He might face a three-month prison term. He claimed he had done it just for fun,” said Agung.

DJ said he wished to apologize to all the people of Indonesia, especially Bandung residents.

“He can pay for his mistake by voluntarily working as a zoo educator here,” suggested Bandung Zoo communication and marketing official Sulhan Syafi’i. – The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

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