60-year-old orangutan at Australian zoo declared world's oldest

Daniel Uria

PERTH, Australia, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- A grumpy orangutan at Perth Zoo in Australia claimed the Guinness World Record for being the oldest Sumatran Orangutan in the world.

Puan was originally gifted to the Perth Zoo by the Sultan of Johore of Malaysia in December 1968 in exchange for several Australian animals.


"Puan was born in the wild, so it took a lot of work to clarify her exact age, but from all the documentation, it is believed that Puan was born in 1956," Perth Zoo primate keeper Martina Hart said. "At 60 years of age, this makes her the oldest Sumatran Orangutan in the world!"

According to Hart, the 60-year-old Puan has already well exceeded the usual life expectancy of her species.

"In the wild, female Sumatran Orangutans rarely live past 50, so reaching 60 is a huge milestone," she said.

Puan has given birth to 11 children during her time at the zoo and has since become a grandmother and a great-grandmother, according to ABC News.

"Since arriving at the Zoo, Puan has gone on to become mother, grandmother and even great-grandmother to some of our orangutans," Hart said. "She is the founder of our world famous breeding colony – her lineage extends far and wide."


Zookeepers said Puan is well aware of her status as a matriarch and demands an appropriate amount of respect.

"Puan's a difficult one," Hart said. "She demands a lot of respect. She deserves a lot of respect, she's not someone who'll show you outwardly that she's particularly interested in you."

Hart added that Puan's attitude has not been hampered by her old age and she instead wears her seniority as a point of pride.

"Although she's slowed down and likes to spend her days sunbaking, despite her great age, Puan has lost none of her attitude," she said. "She'll definitely tell you off and stamp her foot if she has to wait too long for her food."

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