Virginia Zoo’s young orangutan, Sofie, falls ill


(Photo courtesy: Virginia Zoo)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A young orangutan at the Virginia Zoo is “very sick.”

The Virginia Zoo announced on Facebook Friday morning its 1.5-year-old orangutan Sofie had an infection.

Like young humans, young orangutans are also susceptible to disease because their immune systems are still developing, the zoo said.

Sofie came down with the illness Monday morning, and has since been receiving around-the-clock care from veterinary and animal care staff at the zoo.

Sofie’s care team has also consulted with veterinary colleagues who specialize in young orangutans to improve her chances of recovery. They are working to identify the best course of treatment.

“Currently Sofie is being provided with every viable option to help her recover, including several antibiotics and other medications, fluids, and supportive care – with at least two staff members by her side at all times,” the zoo wrote.

Sofie’s parents Dara and Solaris are “handling all of this well,” the zoo added.

“Dara is able to see Sofie and watch as Keepers and veterinary staff provide care for her baby,” the zoo added.

The zoo said it will provide updates to the public as soon as it can, as staff does not yet know whether treatment will be successful.

“The Zoo truly appreciates everyone’s patience, support and understanding during this challenging time as we focus our efforts on providing the best possible care to Sofie,” the post read.

People can leave well-wishes for Sofie on the zoo’s blog:

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