Yesterday, the LA Zoo announced that 22 of the 23 hatched brand new Komodo Dragons now reside at the Zoo, from eggs laid in January by their mother, Lima. Komodos are an endangered species and are listed as vulnerable because they occur naturally in such a small area of the world in Indonesia. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums has set up a Species Survival Plan to manage the breeding of captive Komodos and protect the species for the future in case something were to happen to the wild population. The new additions are crucial for keeping the species alive! Breeding them in captivity is very difficult and less than 10 zoos in North America have been reported to breed Komodos. Only 14 to 20 inches long now with a weight of 3-4 ounces, they are reported to grow up to 200 lbs or more, being the largest lizard in the world! Komodo Dragons have a reputation for having a poisonous bite. They are immune to most bacteria, including E. colli, but can pass them along to animals or humans through their bite. In captivity, Komodos are fed cleaner food that virtually eliminates this problem. They are not on display just yet, but the hatchlings are expected to be in the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo in Griffith Park, CA.
For more information, you can contact the LA Zoo at 323-644-4200.