WORLD’S oldest orangutan dies aged 61
Inji, believed to be the world’s oldest orangutan, passed away at Oregon Zoo at age 61 on Saturday, January 9. After a few weeks of being off her food and refusing to leave her nesting box, zoo vets decided the kindest thing was to “humanely euthanize” her. Inji came to the zoo at just one year old back in January 1961, after being illegally smuggled into the USA.
In a public statement, zoo staff member Bob Lee said: “We knew she couldn’t live forever but this really hurts, and I know many visitors are grieving along with us.
“Inji’s ability to connect with people was incredible. She inspired generations.
“She remained active and inquisitive all through her golden years. She seemed to study humans and enjoy watching them, especially children.”
Asaba Mukobi, the zoo’s senior primate keeper, said that every species of orangutan is critically endangered, with only 15,000 Sumatran orangutans –Inji’s species – left in the world. Inji will be honoured by the zoo at the opening of its new Primate Forest habitat in the spring.
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