Puan, world's oldest known Sumatran orangutan, dies aged 62

62-year-old Puan has played a vital role in ensuring the continued survival of the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan.

(CNN)Perth Zoo has bid a tearful goodbye to Puan, dubbed the "grand old lady" of Sumatran orangutans, who died Monday.

Puan, who was believed to have been born in 1956, was gifted to the West Australian zoo by a sultan from Malaysia on New Year's Eve in 1968.
Although the 62-year-old was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest living Sumatran orangutan in the world, Puan's legacy lay in the zoo's renowned breeding program.
    As the mother of 11 children, Puan's genetics account for just under 10% of the global zoological population, according to Perth Zoo.
    Puan's 54 descendants have spread across the globe, inhabiting zoos in Europe, the United States, Australia and Singapore. Some have even been reintroduced back to the wild on the island of Sumatra.
    Puan played a vital role in ensuring the viability of the Sumatran orangutan, which has been categorized as a critically endangered species, according to WWF. Only three out of nine existing population groupings contain more than 1,000 orangutans.
    Puan, the "grand matriarch" of Perth zoo, had 54 descendents across the world.
    For her keepers, Puan's importance went beyond just awards and statistics.
    In an op-ed to the West Australian, zookeeper Martina Hart remembered Puan as "the maker of the most amazing nests, and the lady who took no nonsense from her children over the years, but was also the most nurt