World's oldest Sumatran orangutan dies aged 62 in Perth Zoo

Puan with her baby in 1974

She was gifted by the Sultan of Johore in exchange for some Australian animals, and has been in the care of the Perth Zoo since 1968.

The world's oldest Sumatran Orangutan has been euthanised at a Perth Zoo, leaving behind a legacy of 54 descendants.

Puan exceeded the usual life expectancy for her species by more than ten years and was awarded a Guinness Book of Record for being the oldest verified Sumatran Orangutan. Female Sumatran Orangutans would rarely live past 50 years of age, according to the zoo.

"Puan is one of the more hard members of our colony to write about - she's not as outgoing as Sekara, as sweet as Utama or as placid as Dinar, but she certainly holds a special place in everyone's hearts, and her legacy is quite simply incredible".

She has 54 descendants, 29 still alive and spread across Australia, the US, Europe, Singapore and Sumatra. "Her genetics count for just under 10% of the global zoological population", the zoo's primate supervisor says.

'You always knew where you stood with Puan, and she would actually stamp her foot if she was dissatisfied with something you did'.

"She's such an important individual both worldwide and just at Perth Zoo, it's not going to be the same without her".

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Puan's zookeeper said she was an aloof and independent individual. She was in a zoo environment, but to the end she always maintained her independence.

Perth Zoo has lost one of its favourites, the legendary Puan.

She leaves two daughters at the zoo, along with four grandchildren and a great-grandson.

"She really has seen it all, from the jungles of the wild to the old exhibits here at Perth, to our now world class exhibits".

The orange apes are solitary but social animals and tend to live in small groups until they reach adulthood.

With many species living in rainforests, the cutting down of millions of acres of forest to supply the increasing demand for timber or to clear land for agriculture is destroying their habitat and making populations more fragmented.



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