The Singapore Zoo has hatched the first baby Komodo Dragon in it's 34 year history. Here you get a rare glimpse at the world's heaviest lizard at it's very smallest: just hatched! At this size the apex predator of the the Indonesian isles looks pretty harmless but in adulthood wild Komodo Dragons grow up to 10ft long and eat deer or even buffalo!
DRAGON BABE HAS ARRIVED AT SINGAPORE ZOO
- First zoo in Asia (outside Indonesia) to have successfully bred the world’s largest lizard, Komodo dragon
Singapore, December 1, 2009 – Singapore Zoo welcomes newest addition to the Komodo dragon family, the first in 34 years. The arrival of the baby dragon on November 15, 2009 signifies father Bima’s successful attempt at winning over mother Yoko, after one and a half years of courtship. Yoko, a diminutive female had not been receptive to Bima’s presence until late last year.
“The hatching of the Komodo dragon is one of the most significant moments for us at the Singapore Zoo. Veterinarians and zookeepers have been patiently monitoring Yoko’s receptivity to Bima’s advances and mating behaviour, as female komodo dragons have been known to be hostile during the early phases of courtship. We have been planning for this momentous day over the last seven months (when Yoko first laid her eggs), familiarising ourselves with the various steps required to artificially incubate the eggs, setting up a proper habitat for any hatchlings and reviewing the diet for dragonlets. Still, all the planning in the world cannot really prepare us for the tremendous sense of elation and wonder at seeing this 40-cm long baby resting beside its empty egg-shell in the incubator,” said Mr Biswajit Guha, Assistant Director Zoology, Singapore Zoo.
The conservation status of the Komodo dragon is vulnerable, as its already restricted distribution has contracted further due to human encroachment and prey depletion. Generally, breeding komodo dragons in captivity is fraught with difficulties due to incompatible pairings, dearth of experience in egg incubation and over-representation of males in zoos.
Singapore Zoo is the first Zoo in Asia, out of the Komodo Dragon’s native home of Indonesia, that has successfully managed to breed this reptile.
Considered as one of Indonesia’s national treasures, komodo dragons can only be given away by the President. Currently there are three Komodo dragons, including the hatchling, at the Singapore Zoo’s Reptile Garden.
About Komodo Dragon
Komodo Dragon, the world’s largest lizard, inhabits the rugged terrain of the Indonesian island of Komodo, Rinca and Flores. They are among the most intelligent lizards with a keen sense of smell, which enables them to detect dead animals 8.5 km away upwind. In the wild Komodo dragons prey on animals as large as deer, feral ponies and buffalo and are also known to be cannibalistic as adult dragons may prey on young, old and sickly dragons. With a very efficient digestive system, komodo dragons excrete only 8-13 percent of the amount they eat and this means they do not need to eat often. Cooperative efforts between zoos and wildlife parks have helped boost the number of komodo dragons. According to the IUCN Red List, komodo dragons are Vulnerable to extinction.