Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 8th, 2008
It is with great sadness that I must report the death of the world’s oldest, if not oldest, Sumatran Orangutan. This great primate, named Ah Meng, was 48 years old and lived at the Singapore Zoological Gardens.
We have many things to learn from these great apes of Asia, about how close they are to the badly named “Johor Bigfoot” or to the Orang Pendek. But too, they have much to still teach us about living with them and saving them.
A younger Ah Meng (in the background) and one of her family (being hugged) pictured with another primate who has left us, Steve Irwin.
She came from Sumatra, Indonesia, and was seized from a family which had illegally kept her as a pet, before coming to the Singapore Zoo in 1971.
As Epilogos wrote in his Singapore Life and Times:
At this time, I can imagine not a few among us who would have shed a tear at the passing of such a graceful and steadfast part of Singapore. While Ah Meng has met many dignitaries in her long life, it is the common folks she would have touched, right from when they were young and starry-eyed Primary School students on their first visit to the Zoo. Thereafter, a visit to the Singapore Zoo always meant a visit to Ah Meng’s place and then to the rest of the Zoo.
This blog bids farewell to Ah Meng, distinguished primate and Ambassador par excellence of the Republic of Singapore.
Ah Meng in 2007.
Source: “Death of a Distinguished Primate”, Singapore Life and Times, Saturday, February 09, 2008.