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World's Oldest Orangutan Dies At Perth Zoo

The world's oldest Sumatran Orangutan has died at Perth Zoo.

Puan, the 62-year-old grand dame was put to sleep on Monday after her quality of life rapidly deteriorated due to her advanced years.

"It's always hard to make that decision for any animal, but it was the right decision and a respectful end for an old lady who demanded respect throughout her life," primate supervisor Holly Thompson said on Tuesday.

“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."

Puan exceeded the usual life expectancy for her species by more than ten years and was awarded a Guinness Book of Record for being the oldest verified Sumatran Orangutan.

“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,” Ms Thompson said.

Puan had eleven children and 54 descendants spread across the United States, Europe, Australasia and the jungles of Sumatra.

“Her genetics count for just under 10 per cent of the global zoological population. That’s impressive statistics.”

Puan will be remembered by zoo staff as an aloof individual who lived her life on her terms.

“She didn’t suffer fools, you always knew where you stood with Puan, and she would actually stamp her foot if she was dissatisfied with something you did.”

AAP and WAtoday

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