Sumatran Orangutan Puan Dies: HumSub.TV

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Sumatran Orangutan Puan Dies

Sumatran Orangutan Puan Dies: The world’s oldest S#umatran orangutan, which had 11 children and 54 descendants spread across the globe, has died aged 62, Australian zoo officials said.

Due to her genetic legacy, #Puan played a vital role in ensuring the survival of the heavily threatened species. Of the nine existing wild populations of Sumatran orangutans, only seven — each with an estimated 250 or more individuals — have prospects of long-term viability, according to #WWF. Only three of those population groups have more than 1,000 orangutans each.

Some 29 of Puan’s descendants are still alive, including daughters Puteri and Pulang; grandchildren Utama, Teliti, Sekara and Lestari; and great-grandson Sungai, all of whom are also at Perth Zoo.

Puan, Indonesian for “lady”, died on Monday at Perth Zoo, where she had lived since being gifted by Malaysia in 1968.

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

Sumatran Orangutan Puan Dies
Sumatran Orangutan Puan Dies

“Her genetics count for just under 10% of the global zoological population.” Puan had 11 children and a total of 54 descendants in the United States, Europe, Australasia and the jungles of Sumatra. Her great grandson Nyaru was the latest individual to be released into the wild.

Born in 1956, she was noted by the Guinness Book of Records as being the oldest verified Sumatran orangutan in the world. Female orangutans rarely live beyond 50 in the wild.

Thompson said she was an aloof and independent individual. “You always knew where you stood with Puan, and she would actually stamp her foot if she was dissatisfied with something you did.”

She leaves two daughters at the zoo, along with four grandchildren and a great grandson.

Sumatran Orangutan Puan Dies
Sumatran Orangutan Puan Dies

In the wild, female orangutans would rarely live past the age of 50, assuming they succumb earlier to a number of threats such as poaching.

“Puan is the total exception to the rule,” Holly Thompson, a primate superviser at Perth Zoo, said. “To be 62 years old is an amazing age for a Sumatran orangutan.”

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