Great ape dies aged 62, Australian zoo's Sumatran orangutan died


The world's oldest Sumatran orangutan, died at the Perth zoo in South Australia. Perth Zoo authorities stated that she left behind an "incredible legacy" of 54 descendants that includes 11 children and was a celebrated matriarch who helped saved her species.

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

Puan - which means "lady" in Indonesian - was believed to be born in Sumatra in 1956 and has been in the care of the Perth zoo since 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.

"Her genetics count for just under 10% of the global zoological population", primate supervisor Holly Thompson said.

She has 54 descendants, 29 still alive and spread across Australia, the US, Europe, Singapore and Sumatra. Her great-grandson Nyaru was the latest individual to be released into the wild. Female Sumatran Orangutans would rarely live past 50 years of age, according to the zoo.

According to Ms. Thompson, she had an independent personality and a distant attitude.

"It feels quite surreal to have said goodbye, we all know that life isn't infinite, but for some reason Puan has always just seemed to be the one who might prove us wrong", Hart wrote in a eulogy published in the West Australian newspaper.

It was a moving tribute to Puan whom Zoo keeper Martina Hart described as a "quiet, dignified lady. But to me, she'll always remain a big part of my life", she wrote for Perth Now.

Buan was treated to the sight of Sumatran orangutans, which, to date, there are about 14.6 thousand.

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.