It’s been a long wait, but the last of the Komodo Dragon clutch at Memphis Zoo in Tennessee has finally hatched!
Norberta, the nine-year-old mother, laid a clutch of eggs last May. The first eggs started to hatch on January 2nd, and three weeks later the zoo had sixteen healthy babies.
This is the third time in little less than a year that Memphis Zoo has successfully hatched Komodo Dragons. These babies represent a joint conservation effort between zoos: the mother, Norberta, was loaned to Memphis Zoo in 2007 for breeding purposes. The babies will all go to different zoos. They may get some display time at Memphis Zoo before they move on to their new homes.
Although a mother Komodo Dragon incubates her eggs for around nine months in the wild, the babies are on their own once hatched. "They'll bite, first day out of the egg," said Chris Baker, assistant curator of reptiles for the Memphis Zoo. "She'll eat them if she can catch them. When they hatch out of the egg, they have to be ready to go right then."
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