Nation's oldest Sumatran orangutan turns 56

PORTLAND - She's the oldest resident at the Oregon Zoo and tomorrow's her birthday.  Inji, the oldest Sumatran orangutan in North America turns 56 on Saturday, the Oregon Zoo reported in a press release.

Inji arrived at the zoo on January 30, 1961.   “She’s in amazing shape for her age,” Asaba Mukobi, the zoo's senior primate keeper said.

“She has no trouble getting around and no major health concerns — she isn’t taking any special medication beyond aspirin. Her age and remarkable condition say a lot about the quality of care she’s received over the years.”

The name “orangutan” comes from the Malay “orang,” meaning man, and “hutan,” meaning wilderness or jungle. According to Mukobi, many zoo visitors are struck by the orangutans’ close resemblance to humans, the zoo's release stated.

“Orangutans share nearly 98 percent of their DNA with humans, and visitors feel a very strong connection to them,” Mukobi said. “Building on that connection, we’re trying to create awareness about what’s happening to orangutans in their native lands and let people know how they can help.”

So, if you get a chance to stop by the Oregon Zoo, say hello Inji - consider her a long-distance relative.