Puan, world's oldest Sumatran orangutan, dies at 62

Puan with her baby in 1974

Puan, the 62-year-old grand dame of Perth Zoo, was put to sleep.

Puan was given to Perth zoo in 1968.

Female orangutans rarely live past the age of 50, and in 2016, she was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest verified living Sumatran orangutan in the world.

Puan's 54 descendants have spread across the globe, inhabiting zoos in Europe, the United States, Australia and Singapore.

Sixty-two-year-old Puan was given a dignified end to her life after various veterinary assessments confirmed age-related complications were adversely affecting her ability to have a quality life. "Her genes are found in just under 10% of the population of world zoos".

A keeper at Perth Zoo has written a attractive tribute to the world's oldest Sumatran orangutan after she passed away at the age of 62.

While several zoo officials remembered her for being "aloof", Perth Zoo staff members knew where they stood with the Sumatran Orangutan.

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"Puan demanded and deserved respect, and she certainly had it from all her keepers over the years".

"Apart from being the oldest member of our colony, she was also the founding member of our world renowned breeding program and leaves an incredible legacy", said Thompson.

"She was a attractive independent lady whose legacy is unparalleled".

Puan played a vital role in ensuring the viability of the Sumatran orangutan, which has been categorized as a critically endangered species, according to WWF. I feel so grateful to have been in her life, albeit to have been such a small part of her life.

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

Rest in peace Puan, may you climb happily in the jungles of the sky.

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