Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

World’s oldest Sumatran orangutan dies at Perth Zoo

World’s oldest Sumatran orangutan dies at Perth Zoo
June 20, 2018

The world's oldest Sumatran orangutan, a prolific mother who is estimated to have given birth to 10% of the global population of the species in captivity, has died at the age of 62.

Puan was put down at Perth Zoo after developing age-related complications.

Sumatran orangutans, found in the northern parts of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, do not usually live beyond 50 in the wild.

According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature they are critically endangered animals, and their habitat is under threat from wholesale land clearing for forestry and agriculture, including palm oil production.

Puan was the matriarch of the Perth Zoo orangutan colony, mothering 11 children during its time in captivity.

The long-living primate had a total of 54 descendants worldwide, with 29 still alive today.

Its descendants currently make up nearly 10% of the total population of the species in zoos around the world.

Commenting on Puan’s death, Perth Zoo primate supervisor Holly Thompson told the ABC “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.

"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 is believed to have been born in Sumatra in 1956.

She was gifted by the Sultan of Johore in exchange for some Australian animals, and has been in the care of the Perth Zoo since 1968.

Puan was awarded a Guinness Book of Records title in 2016 for being the oldest verified Sumatran orangutan in the world.

A statement from the Perth Zoo said Puan would be remembered by zoo staff as an "aloof individual who lived her life on her terms".

Thompson added “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.

"She was a beautiful independent lady whose legacy is unparalleled."

Zookeeper Martina Hart said Puan "went extremely peacefully", adding "Puan was a dignified, elderly lady, she was like working with your grandmother or your great-grandmother.

"She was demanding, she would stamp her feet, she would tap her feet like a little war dance when she wanted something and it wasn't coming quickly enough.

"She demanded respect and she got respect. She's just an incredible legacy.

"She's such an important individual both worldwide and just at Perth Zoo, it's not going to be the same without her."

Image courtesy of Perth Zoo.


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Sportybots

We are the leading providers of kids fun multi-sports programs for Sport and Recreation Centres. Programs cover twelve common sports as well as Gross Motor Skill Development and suit children from as…

read more

Fitness / Play / Recreation / Sport / Wellness

 
 

IEDM

iEDM integrate Design, Engineering and Delivery Management services to convert existing spaces into exciting new entertainment venues. Our team consists of highly qualified professionals with diverse…

read more

Consultants / Design

 
 

RHINOPLAY

Rhinoplay offers playground equipment in Australia that is safe, durable, and most importantly fun! We specialise in creating unique indoor playgrounds for play centres and outdoor playgrounds for…

read more

Parks / Play / Surfaces

 
 
 

GEOFF NINNES FONG AND PARTNERS

Geoff Ninnes Fong & Partners (GNFP) is a structural, aquatic and civil engineering consultancy with broad experience in the design of new municipal and institutional swimming pools, hydrotherapy…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Design / Venues

 
 

AEROBIC MICROPHONES AUSTRALIA

Aerobic Microphones Australia provides audio products for the fitness industry. Products include the sweat resistant Cyclemic and Aeromic headworn microphones and pouchbelts that are made in…

read more

Fitness / Technology

 
 

SENtag

Developed in Europe, this innovative system offers a safety management solution for swimming pools that checks individual swimmers via their wristband - monitoring their depth and time. Sensors…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Safety / Technology / Waterparks

 
 

Pico Play

Pico is a global leader in Total Brand Activation. We specialise in engaging people, creating experiences and activating brands. Leveraging a track record in experience design that spans half a…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Design / Recreation / Venues

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business