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Baby orangutan at Virginia Zoo 'very sick' staffers say

Sofie, the orangutan that was born last year at the Virginia Zoo, is "unfortunately very sick," according to zoo staff. She's fighting a serious infection.

NORFOLK, Virginia — A baby orangutan at the Virginia Zoo has come down with a serious infection, prompting around-the-clock care.

Sofie is just a little over one after being born last July to Dara and Solaris. Staffers say she suddenly became very ill on Monday, Nov. 11 and has been under intensive treatment and support.

The zoo says young orangutans are much more susceptible to disease since their immune systems are still developing. 

IMPORTANT ZOO UPDATE Sofie, the Zoo's 1 ½ year old Bornean or... angutan, 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's care team has been consulting with other zoos that care for young orangutans to determine the best possible treatment for her infection.

She's being cared for with several antibiotics, fluids and other medications, but staffers aren't sure if the treatment will be successful depending on how the disease progresses.

Her mother, Dara, is able to see Sofie and watch as keepers take care of her.

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