Virginia Zoo announces orangutan is pregnant

Virginia Zoo announces orangutan is pregnant
The Virginia Zoo used a human pregnancy test to confirm the orangutan's pregnancy. (Source: Virginia Zoo)

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (WWBT) - There's going to be a new animal at the Virginia Zoo soon.

The zoo announced that one of its orangutans is pregnant.

Dara, an 18-year-old Bornean orangutan, is expected to give birth to her first baby some time between the middle of June and early July.

Dara mated with 14-year-old Solaris at the Virginia Zoo, and keepers noticed behavior consistent with pregnancy soon after.

But it wasn't until a pregnancy test – yes, a human one – confirmed that suspicion.

The zoo said the pregnancy is important for two reasons. First, Bornean orangutans are critically endangered and their numbers are dwindling for a variety of reasons. The zoo also said orangutans have a slow reproductive rate.

The zoo said she will remain in the exhibit during the pregnancy, but the pregnancy will not be outwardly visible as it is with humans.

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