Orangutan Gets Ultrasound as Due Date Nears

There’s a good chance this is something you’ve never seen before. Dara, one of four orangutans at the Virginia Zoo, is pregnant and her care team was able to get an ultrasound of the baby-to-be.

This will be the first baby orangutan born at the Virginia wildlife park ever. The ultrasound showed a healthy baby. You may be surprised to know that the average size of an orangutan infant is only three pounds.

Zookeepers predict Dara will deliver mid-June to early July.

Dara was treated to a popular tradition for expecting moms: a baby shower. Zookeepers hosted the celebration and listed more than 40 gifts the public could donate.

The list included finger paint, sand buckets, and even lullaby CD’s. The event was open to the public on May 20 and featured a story time along with a movie showing.

We’re hoping they served plenty of mon-key lime pie and chocolate chimp cookies!

Credit: Virginia Zoo

Why are we going bananas over this? Well, Bornean orangutans (Dara’s species) have rapidly disappeared over 60 years. Due to illegal pet trade, human-animal conflict and habitat loss, the populations have been nearly cut in half.

“This is an unbelievable opportunity for the Zoo to play a vital role in the future of this species,” said Greg Bockheim, Executive Director of the Virginia Zoo.

For further updates on Dara’s pregnancy, click here.
Looking to help prevent Dara’s extinction? Check out this helpful link.