Six endangered Komodo dragons hatch at the Bronx Zoo

Komodo dragons are classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with some estimates indicating there are fewer than 2,500 of the reptiles remaining in the wild.

News 12 Staff

Dec 9, 2021, 3:01 PM

Updated 857 days ago

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Six endangered Komodo dragons hatch at the Bronx Zoo
Six endangered Komodo dragons have hatched at the Bronx Zoo, the first time the species has been successfully bred at the zoo in its 122-year history.
Herpetology Department staff at the zoo spent years working to successfully breed the Komodos, carefully monitoring the adults when they were paired for mating, as courtship behaviors can sometimes become aggressive.
The Komodos bred in March of this year after a successful introduction, with the female laying her eggs in April, according to the zoo. The eggs were placed in an incubator where they were carefully monitored for around seven months before they hatched.
"This is an important achievement for zoo staff and a significant milestone for the Bronx Zoo," says Don Boyer, curator of Herpetology at the Bronx Zoo. "Komodo dragons are one of the planet's most fascinating species and these hatchlings represent a hopeful future for the species. They will be wonderful ambassadors for their wild counterparts as they help us raise awareness about conservation needs."
The hatching of the Komodos is an outcome of the Species Survival Plan, a cooperative breeding and management program administered by the Association of Zoos and Aquariams "to maintain genetic diversity and demographic stability in zoo populations," according to the zoo.
The Komodo dragon exhibit opened at the Bronx Zoo in 2014, marking the first time the species was housed in the zoo since the 1950s.
The adult Komodos can be seen in the Zoo Center, while some hatchlings will be on exhibit at the Bronx Zoo's World of Reptiles.
As the world's largest living lizard species, adult Komodos can weigh more than 150 pounds and measure up to 10 feet in length. They are native to the eastern Indonesian islands of Komodo, Flores, Rinca, Padar, Gili Motang, and Nusa Kode.
Komodo dragons are classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with some estimates indicating there are fewer than 2,500 of the reptiles remaining in the wild and as few as 250 breeding females.


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