Farewell to the Oldest Sumatran Orangutan in the World!

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Puan was enthanised after symptoms of age-related complications.

Perth Zoo broke the sad news this morning, Puan the orangutan has died.

"She did so much for the colony at Perth Zoo and the survival of her species", said primate supervisor at Perth Zoo Holly Thompson.

Puan was awarded the Guiness World Record for being the oldest living Sumatran orangutan in the world in 2016.

"Over the years Puan's eyelashes had greyed, her movement had slowed down and her mind had started to wander", said Martina Hart, Puan's chief zookeeper for 18 years, in an obituary published in The West Australian newspaper.

Her descendants now make up almost 10 per cent of the total population of the species in zoos around the world. "You always knew were you stood with Puan", said Hart.

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According to the zoo, Sumatran orangutans rarely live beyond the age of 50. "She was the founding female of the best breeding colony in the world.The maker of the most incredible nests, and the lady who took no nonsense from her children over the years, but was also the most nurturing mother we had". She was in a zoo environment, but to the end she always maintained her independence.

Puan, which means "Lady" in Indonesian, died Monday at the Perth Zoo where she lived since she was given as a gift from Malaysia in 1968.

Sumatran orangutans are a critically endangered species with about 7,500 left in the world, according to WWF figures.

"She demanded respect and she got respect". I feel so grateful to have been in her life, albeit to have been such a small part of her life. A great grandson named Nyaru was the latest of her descendants to be released into the wild.

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

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