World's oldest Sumatran orangutan dies aged 62

Puan has 54 descendants around the world

Handout photo taken in 2016 shows Puan at Perth Zoo where she lived since being gifted by Malaysia in 1968.

A keeper at Perth Zoo has written a lovely tribute to the world's oldest Sumatran orangutan after she passed away at the age of 62.

The female orangutan was euthanized due to what veterinarians said were age-related complications affecting her quality of life, Perth Zoo said in a statement Tuesday.

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.

Sumatran orangutans are a critically endangered species and rarely reach age 50 in the wild.

As the founder of our world renowned breeding program her legacy is phenomenal with descendants living all over the world.

Puan was given to Perth zoo in 1968 and is believed to have been born in Sumatra 1956.

"Her genetics count for just under 10 per cent of the global zoological population, which is an impressive statistic", Ms Thompson said. "You always knew were you stood with Puan", said Hart.

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In a heartfelt tribute, Martina Hart, the primate keeper at Perth zoo, described Puan as a matriarch and a "quiet, dignified lady".

It read: 'Over the years Puan's eyelashes had greyed, her movement had slowed down and her mind had started to wander.

Puan's zookeeper said she was an aloof and independent individual.

She leaves behind an incredible legacy that includes 11 children, most of which are now wild orangutans that are each expected to reproduce four times in their lives.

She even exhibited those motherly mannerisms toward her zookeepers. This is predicted to increase in coming decades.

The illegal trade in bushmeat - killing apes and monkeys for their flesh - is also decimating the animals, as is changing climates and diseases spread from humans to apes.

Nearly all (94 per cent and 97 per cent) of the primate populations in these countries are in decline.

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