Puan had had eleven children and 54 descendants, 29 still living, 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. “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.
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. She was born in the jungles of Sumatra. After she was given to Perth zoo in 1968, Puan played a key role in breeding programs. “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,” said Thompson. Perth zookeepers paid emotional tribute to her. An obituary written by zookeeper Martina Hart, who had worked with Puan for 18 years, was published in Australia. Hsing Hsing, Perth zoo’s oldest male Sumatran Orangutan died in 2017.