September 24, 2018

World's Oldest Sumatran Orangutan Dies Aged 62

22 June 2018, 05:28 | Ross Houston

ALEX ASBURY Puan was given to Perth zoo in 1968

Puan was given to Perth zoo in 1968

"It's always hard to make this decision in relation to any animal, but it was the right decision and a worthy end for older ladies", explained head of the Department of primates Holly Thompson.

Known as the "grand old lady" of Perth zoo, Puan, a great-grandmother, was euthanised after developing age-related health complications.

She was recognized as world oldest of her species by the Guinness World Records in 2016.

Believed to have been born in a jungle in Sumatra, Indonesia, in 1956, Puan left an "incredible legacy" of 11 children and a total of 54 descendants across the US, Europe and elsewhere, the zoo said.

"Her genetics count for just 10 percent of the global zoological population". "We knew what to do with Puan, and if she was unhappy she would just kick her foot". "She was the founding female of the best breeding colony in the world.The maker of the most unbelievable nests, and the lady who took no nonsense from her children over the years, but was also the most nurturing mother we had". She spent a majority of her life at the zoo and has over 54 descendants living around the world.

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According to the zoo, Sumatran orangutans rarely live beyond the age of 50.

A statement from the Perth Zoo said Puan would be remembered by zoo staff as an "aloof individual who lived her life on her terms".

"She demanded respect and she got respect".

Sumatran orangutans are struggling to adapt in a changing world and are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN 2017). I feel so grateful to have been in her life, albeit to have been such a small part of her life.

She added that her legacy as a wild-born orangutan will be carried on by her great-grandson Nyaru who is now living in the jungles of Sumatra.

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