Puan, world’s oldest known Sumatran orangutan, dies aged 62 in Australian zoo

22 June, 2018, 05:29 | Author: Cecelia Webb
  • Puan with her baby in 1974

Puan, who was referred to as the "grand old lady" of Perth Zoo, had been a resident of the zoo since 1968 when she was gifted by Malaysia.

In Australia died, the oldest on the planet orangutan - Primate named Buan was 62 years old.

"She did so much for the colony at Perth Zoo and the survival of her species, so I am very proud of the level of care given to Puan throughout her years, but importantly in her final days", Ms Thompson said. "It's my absolute wish for her to be remembered for the attractive, independent lady that she was and I think it's an awesome legacy for her great grandson Nyaru to be out living his life in the jungles of Sumatra, where his great grandmother hailed from".

Overall she has 54 descendants, with 29 still living around the world in Australia, Europe, United States, Singapore and Sumatra.

Sumatran orangutans are a critically endangered species and rarely reach age 50 in the wild.

Her descendants now make up almost 10 per cent of the total population of the species in zoos around the world.

Thought to be born in 1956, the female Sumatran Orangutan was euthanized after her health rapidly declined due to her advanced years.




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

Puan was enthanised after symptoms of age-related complications.

'But she remained the matriarch, the quiet, dignified lady she had always been'.

Martina Hart, Puan's chief zookeeper wrote an obituary for the ape in The West Australian newspaper today.

Two of her daughters still live at the zoo, along with four grandchildren and a great grandson.

Researchers found that if things continue as they are, by the end of the century primate range will have contracted by 78 per cent in Brazil, 72 per cent in Indonesia, 62 per cent in Madagascar and 32 per cent in the DRC.

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