Kevin Torregrosa © Bronx Zoo/WCS
Bronx, NY – December 9, 2021 – Six Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) have hatched at the Bronx Zoo, the first time this species has successfully bred in the 122-year history of the zoo.
The successful breeding is the result of years of work by the zoo’s Herpetology Department staff. Keepers have to carefully monitor the adult Komodos when they are paired for mating as courtship behaviors can sometimes become aggressive.
After a successful introduction, the pair of Komodos bred in March 2021, and the female laid a clutch of eggs in April. The eggs were placed in an incubator where they were carefully monitored for approximately seven months before they hatched in November.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – San Antonio Zoo® is proud to announce the hatching of 10 Komodo dragons. The hatchings occurred between October 17 and October 27, hatching two boys, four girls, and four yet to be determined dragons.
“This monumental hatching is a testament to the zoo’s persistence and commitment to conservation,” said Tim Morrow, President & CEO of San Antonio Zoo. “The hatchlings are thriving, and we are looking forward to watching them grow and help preserve the existence of Komodo dragons.”
There are over 3,000 lizard species, but the Komodo dragon wins the prize for being the largest living lizard in the world! It is a type of monitor lizard, an ancient group of reptiles with ancestors that date back more than 100 million years.
A trio of 9-month-old Komodo Dragons made their public debut at Denver Zoo recently. The two males, Ryu and Bai, and one female, Saphira, currently weigh about 2 lbs. and measure 18 inches in length, but they will reach up to 9 ft. and 100 lbs. when fully grown.
Komodo Dragons are the largest lizard in the world and can live for more than 50 years. They are native to only five islands in southeastern Indonesia: including the islands of Komodo, Flores, Rinca and Padar.
Ryu, Bai and Saphira arrived at the Denver Zoo from the Fort Worth Zoo back in April as part of the Species Survival Program, a coordinated effort between institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to ensure the survival and genetic diversity of select species, and to enhance conservation of those species in the wild. They join the Zoo’s two other adult Komodo Dragons, 15-year old Raja and 8-year-old Kristika, in the Komodo wing in Tropical Discovery.
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."
Learn more after the fold.
A baby Komodo dragon hatched on October 8 at the Memphis Zoo for the first time in the Zoo's history. Zoo keepers still don’t know the sex of the lizard, who weighed just 99 grams when it was born, after 222 days of incubation. Komodo Dragons are the world’s largest lizard species; once grown they can weigh up to 250 pounds.
“We’ll keep the baby until it measures about three to four feet in length,” said Dr. Steve Reichling, the zoo’s curator of reptiles and amphibians. “Then, we will most likely send it to another institution based on Species Survival Plan recommendations from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.”
The lizard was the first born at the zoo.
“This was the culmination of over a decade of hard work by the animal staff,” said Reichling. “This hatchling is the start of what we expect will be a very successful Komodo dragon breeding program.”
The animal’s mother, an eight-year-old named “Norberta,” laid eight eggs in February, only one of which was fertile. However, zookeepers aren’t sure which of the zoo’s two male dragons are responsible. In fact, a zoo spokesperson said it’s possible that neither “Jeff” nor “Voltron” is a proud papa.
“It is also possible for female komodo dragons to fertilize their own eggs through a process known as parthenogenesis,” a spokesperson said in a written statement. “This form of reproduction has been documented several times in captive dragons.”
The zoo says it will determine paternity and name the baby lizard before the end of the year.
The Phoenix Zoo has just recieved eight Komodo dragon babies on loan from the Los Angeles Zoo. Four males and four females, all from the same clutch, hatched between August 6 and August 11. They weigh about 5 ounces each.
Komodo dragons are the largest living species of lizard and can grow larger than 10 feet long and weigh more than 200 pounds. To get an idea of how large these little guys can grow up to be, they can be compared to the zoo's two adult Komodos: Gaia, a 15-year-old female and her brother Ivan. Gaia is 7 feet long and weighs 75 pounds while Ivan weighs in at approximately 120 pounds and is 8 feet long.
The babies will be on display starting Saturday and will be in Phoenix through the spring.
Photo Credits: The Phoenix Zoo, Egg Photo Credit: Ian Recchio
As Halloween draws near, Denver Zoo is hatching dragons! Komodo Dragons, that is. Four have already hatched and four more eggs remain in an incubator. The hatchlings began emerging from their shells a week ago. They are all behind-the-scenes now, but visitors should be able to see them in Tropical Discovery’s nursery in time for the zoo’s Halloween event, Boo at the Zoo.
A Komodo Dragon hatchling emerges from its shell (Below)
On August 8, the first of 22 Komodos hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo. Over the course of the next 11 days, 21 additional Komodos hatched. Several of the young Komodos that hatched at the Zoo are currently exploring their newly renovated exhibit in the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo.
CAPTION: Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) Trustee Betty White and Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians Ian Recchio pose with a Komodo dragon hatchling at the Los Angeles Zoo on Tuesday, September 14, 2010, prior to releasing the hatchlings into their newly renovated exhibit located in the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo. Photo Credit: Tad Motoyama.
On August 8, 2010 the first of 22 Komodo dragons hatched at the L.A. Zoo. Over the course of the next 11 days, 21 additional Komodos hatched.
Lima, the Zoo’s female Komodo dragon, laid 23 eggs back in January so hatching 22 was a huge success!. Fewer than 10 zoos in North America have been able to breed Komodos; this marks the L.A. Zoo’s first success at breeding them.
Photo Credits: Tad Motoyama / L.A. Zoo
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!