The World's Oldest Known Sumatran Orangutan Has Died at Age 62

Christopher Davidson
June 19, 2018

She was later taken from the wild and placed in captivity and in 1968 was gifted to Perth Zoo by the Sultan Johore of Malaysia in exchange for some native Australian animals.

The world's oldest known Sumatran orangutan died Monday at the Perth Zoo in Australia.

Puan was euthanised on Monday after suffering age-related complications that the zoo said were affecting her quality of life.

She had been at the zoo since 1968, and was officially recognised by Guinness World Records as the oldest of her species in 2016. Female Sumatran Orangutans would rarely live past 50 years of age, according to the zoo.

As the founder of our world renowned breeding program her legacy is phenomenal with descendants living all over the world.

"Her genetics count for just under 10 per cent of the global zoological population", Thompson added.

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

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"Puan taught me patience, she taught me that natural and wild instincts never disappear in captivity". "Puan demanded and deserved respect", she said.

"To look at Puan is to look into the eyes of an animal (and I find even saying "animal" to feel slightly disrespectful) who has seen so much in her lifetime that the mind boggles", she wrote. She was in a zoo environment, but to the end she always maintained her independence.

"Puan was a dignified, elderly lady, she was like working with your grandmother or your great-grandmother", Ms Hart said.

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

Hsing Hsing, Perth zoo's oldest male Sumatran orangutan died in 2017.

The orange apes are solitary but social animals and tend to live in small groups until they reach adulthood. This is predicted to increase in coming decades.

Growing trees to produce palm oil - used in many popular foods - is a particular threat to primates in Indonesia, as is mining for gold and sapphires in Madagascar.

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