She was 'cute,' she 'made faces' and she made many friends. Inji, world's oldest orang-utan at Oregon Zoo in the US dies at the ripe old age of 61. But not before leaving behind many a followers and her memories. Inji was euthanized at Oregon Zoo in the US on Saturday following a long battle with illness.

Mother Orangutan And Baby Released Back Into The Wild
Representational image

They say in the wild, orangutans don't usually make past the age of 40, but Inji clocked in the figure of 61 years. As per reports, the zookeepers said Inji had significantly slowed down in the recent years and rarely left her nest box in the recent days and was no longer interested in food.

The decision to euthanize her was taken after it became clear that pain medication was no longer having any effect on her. Inji's exact birth details are not known but it is believed that she was born in the wild around 1960 and she was brought to the zoo by her owner when she was about a year old. At the time, the wild animal trade was legal and that's how she came to the United States, through wild animal trade.

Oregon Zoo's social media account shows the staff at the zoo was really fond of her and have been left with a void. The video posted by the zoo officials pay tribute to Inji. The video titled, "In loving memory of Inji" tells the audience about her story. "Inji arrived at the Oregon zoo on January 30, 1961. She lived to be 61, the oldest known orang-utan in the world." It's not hard to guess why Inji enjoyed special treatment and privileges at the zoo. Being not just the oldest but also the favourite animal at the zoo.

Visitors and staff bid adieu to Inji

Many a zoo visits are plain fun outings. Nothing more, nothing less. Every animal is observed, enjoyed for a few minutes, moved on and then forgotten. But not Inji. The posts are replete with special connect that children had with Inji.

"My son around 5 years old (1981) walked up to the glass of the orang-utan enclosure. Inji climbed down and set on the other side of the glass. My son made "faces" that she imitated. Entertained the surrounding audience for at least 20 minutes when she got bored and headed to food," reads one of the tributes remembering Inji.

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Did you know this fun trivia about Orangutans?
Orangutans aretechnically one of the closest to human race, as it's believed that we share nearly 97 per cent of the same DNA. Literally translated, Orangutancomes fromorang hutan which means 'human of the forest." Unfortunately, Orangutans are today in the endangered species list with their conservation status being, "critically endangered."