A large abdominal mass was identified during an elective preventative health examination in a 25-yr-old female hybrid orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). Sonographically, the mass was fluid-filled and a presumptive diagnosis of a dermoid cyst or cystic teratoma of an ovary was made. Exploratory laparotomy, after assembly of a surgical team, confirmed that the 2.5-kg cystic mass was associated with the left ovary. Following ovariectomy, perioperative dissection of the mass revealed hair components, confirming the working diagnosis. Because the right ovary was slightly nodular and firmer than expected, and these germ cell tumors sometimes occur bilaterally, excision of the contralateral ovary was elected. Histopathology confirmed the left ovarian mass was a dermoid cyst; the right ovary contained a corpus hemorrhagicum but no evidence of neoplasia. Recovery was uneventful and the orangutan was prescribed hormone replacement therapy to mitigate potential problems associated with a chronic lack of estrogen and progesterone. This case report demonstrates the importance of elective examinations under anesthesia, even in well-trained great apes.
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