The world's oldest orangutan celebrated its birthday: how old is the animal

By Jurassic JennMay 11, 2024 20:05 PMAnimals
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The world's oldest orangutan celebrated its birthday
The world's oldest orangutan celebrated its birthday. Source: www.guinnessworldrecords.com

Bella, the world's oldest orangutan living in captivity, celebrated her 63rd birthday this week.

This was reported by SSPDaily.

The Sumatran female orangutan was born in 1961. She was captured from the wild in 1964 and has been living in the Hagenbeck Zoo in Hamburg, Germany.

Zoo staff say that Bella is "in the best condition possible." For her birthday, she was given a cake made of soft-boiled rice and various fruits, which she shared with Berani, one of her adopted children.

The typical life expectancy of a wild orangutan is 35-40 years, increasing to 50 years in captivity.

Bella became the oldest living orangutan in 2021, following the death of Inji, a female Sumatran orangutan at the Oregon State Zoo in the United States. Born in the wild around 1960, Inji was believed to be a year older than Bella.

The zoo staff described Bella as honest, prudent, inquisitive, intelligent, loving, and never aggressive.

During her lifetime, she gave birth to six children of her own and raised four adopted children who were not accepted by their mothers, earning her the nickname "supermom."

Now that Bella has very few teeth left, her favorite food is semolina, flavored with hot sauce or a sweetener such as honey. She also likes soft fruits and vegetables.

Bella is not the only old monkey living in Germany who recently celebrated a birthday. On April 13, Fatou, the world's oldest gorilla living in captivity, turned 67 years old.

Fatou was captured in the wild in 1959 and brought to France by a sailor who used her as payment for his bill at a tavern. That same year, Fatou was acquired by the Berlin Zoo, where she has lived ever since.

Nowadays, capturing wild animals for zoos is no longer considered acceptable by the zoological community. The vast majority of animals are born in captivity or transferred from one institution to another to participate in breeding programs.

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