Nashville Zoo Debuts Komodo Dragon Exhibit
July 9, 2014
If you live in Nashville, Tenn., be sure to check out the new Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) exhibit at the Nashville Zoo. The exhibit features two female Komodo dragons that hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo in August 2013. They are currently 2 feet in length and weigh about 2 pounds.
The zoo will have them on exhibit in the Unseen New World area for a year while a permanent habitat is designed and built for the lizards, which when fully grown, may grow to more than nine feet in length and weigh more than 200 pounds.
This juvenile Komodo dragon was born via parthenogenesis at the Chester Zoo in England.
Komodo dragons are the largest lizards in the world and are native to Indonesia. The large lizard in a carnivore and in the wild has been documented taking down large deer. The reptile is an endangered species, with an estimated 2,500 lizards left in the wild, all living at Komodo National Park in Indonesia. The Los Angeles Zoo has had a lot of success in hatching the lizards in the last few years. In addition to the two that hatched last year, the zoo welcomed 22 babies in 2012, some which are on exhibit at the California zoo.
John B. Virata keeps a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased at the Pet Place in Westminster, CA for $5. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata