18 October 2010

Denver Zoo becomes only zoo to hatch Komodo Dragons for a third time

The Denver Zoo has hatched four Komodo Dragons, making it the only zoo in the world to hatch the giant lizards for a third time. The genders of the hatchlings have not yet been determined but each measure approximately 16 inches and weigh about 80 grams.

“This is a very significant event as Denver Zoo is only the second zoo in North America to hatch dragons this year and the only zoo in the world to hatch dragons on three different occasions,” said Denver Zoo Curator of Reptiles and Fishes Rick Haeffner. “Denver Zoo is committed to being a leader in captive management and reproduction of this magnificent, endangered giant lizard.”

According to the Denver Zoo
Komodo dragons are classified as endangered, with between 3,000 and 5,000 individuals remaining in the wild. They are also rare in the world’s zoos. As an island species, they are more likely candidates for extinction than mainland species due to increased vulnerability for disease, human encroachment, deforestation, competition for food and natural disasters.

The hatchlings are expected to be on display just in time for the zoo’s animal Halloween event, Boo at the Zoo. Four additional Komodo Dragon eggs remain in an incubator.

Daelyn Fortney | @daelyn
Daelyn is the co-founder & managing director of This Dish Is Veg. In addition to her work at TDIV, Daelyn homeschools her three daughters.

Photo credit: Denver Zoo