The World’s Oldest Sumatran Orangutan Dies In Australia Zoo At 62-Years-Old


The world recently said farewell to one of its oldest Sumatran Orangutans. The 62-year-old Puan passed away at an Australian zoo.

A Fond Farewell

Australia's Perth Zoo shared the sad news with the public on Monday, June 18, on their website. The zoological organization believed that Puan was born in 1956 in Malaysia. Perth Zoo officials stated that the Malaysian government gave the Sumatran orangutan as a New Year's Eve gift to an Australia zoo in 1968.

Puan, whose name translates to "Lady" in Indonesian, played an essential role at the Perth Zoo. She was the matriarch of the Sumatran Orangutan tribe. Puan was also a crucial element in the Australian Zoo's breeding program.

Puan's Legacy

While she passed away at 62-years-old, she leaves behind an impeccable legacy. Puan had 11 children and 54 descendants that not only lived with her but also in various parts of the world. Reports indicate that 29 of her progenies were in zoos in the United States, Singapore, and different parts of Europe. It was also known that some of her relatives were released into Sumatra.

"Her genetics count for just 10 percent of the global zoological population. That's impressive statistics," said Holly Thompson, primate supervisor at the Perth Zoo in the press release.

While several zoo officials remembered her for being "aloof," Perth Zoo staff members knew where they stood with the Sumatran Orangutan. They noted that if the staff did anything that offended Puan, she would tap her foot to express her unhappiness with them. The Perth Zoo euthanized Puan after she developed age-related health complications.

Ape News

The State University of New York College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry International Institute for Species Exploration put an ape on its annual list of newly discovered species. The list was picked by the IISE's taxonomist committee, who looked at 18,000 different entries. The Pongo tapanuliensis is a Tapanuli orangutan that is the most endangered ape in its species. Scientists found evidence that there are only 800 Tapanuli orangutans left on Earth.

Meanwhile, Howard University Associate Professor Rui Diogo found in a new study that several different ape species share several human muscles. Diogo found that gorillas, bonobos, and chimpanzees possess the same muscles that help humans walk on two legs, create sounds, and use tools. Through his findings, the professor believed that humans and apes are more alike and not unique.

In 2017, a Dutch zoologist worked on building a "Tinder for orangutans." Thomas Bionda, who oversaw the program, hoped that this experiment would help understand how female orangutans select mates. The investigation focused on 11-year-old orangutan Samboja and how she picked out potential suitors by using a tablet.

ⓒ 2018 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Real Time Analytics