Animal WellnessGet Well Soon, Sofie

November 15, 2019

Sofie, the Zoo’s 1 ½ year old Bornean orangutan, is unfortunately very sick. Just like with human babies, young orangutans are much more susceptible to disease due to still-developing immune systems and Sofie has come down with a serious infection that is requiring around the clock care.

Sofie became suddenly very ill on Monday morning, and since that time the Zoo’s dedicated veterinary and animal care staff have been providing her with intensive treatment and support 24 hours a day. Sofie’s care team has also been consulting with veterinary colleagues at other zoos that care for young orangutans, as well as with human pediatric doctors, in order to determine the best possible treatment for Sofie as she fights this infection.

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. Sofie’s mother Dara and father Solaris are handling all of this well. Dara is able to see Sofie and watch as Keepers and veterinary staff provide care for her daughter.

Since the vet staff does not yet know if the treatment will be successful or how this disease may progress, updates will be provided as soon as they become available.

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.

Sofie, an acronym for Saving Orangutans From Extinction, was born at the Virginia Zoo on Friday, June 22, 2018. She is the first orangutan birth for mother Dara and father Solaris, and is also the first orangutan birth in Virginia Zoo history. To catch up on her story, please read our blog.