GRIFFITH PARK—For the first time in its history, the Los Angeles Zoo has successfully bred Komodo Dragons. Lima, the adult female Komodo, laid her eggs on January 22, and on August 8, the first egg hatched. The hatchlings continued to emerge for two weeks, and now the zoo is home to 22 baby Komodos.
The zoo joins a list of fewer than 10 other zoos in North America that have achieved this feat. In 1992, Komodos hatched at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. for the first time outside of their native land, Indonesia. The Komodo Dragon is the largest lizard living today. The largest reached over 10 feet and weighed 366 pounds; typically, the specimens weigh about 154 pounds. These new hatchlings weigh about 3 ounces and are 14 to 20 inches long. Komodo Dragons eat 80 percent of their weight. Komodos are carnivorous and are inclined to eat their young and eggs, so the babies are separated from their parents after birth. In the wild, the young hurry up trees to avoid being eaten by adults.
Eleven of the babies at the Los Angeles Zoo will be transported to the Columbus Zoo and the Species Survival Program will dictate where the others go. The zoo will keep Lima and Buru, the adult male Komodo. According to the zoo’s Facebook page, “The young Komodos are currently off exhibit. In the future, the Zoo plans on displaying several in the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo. The Zoo will announce when the dragons go on exhibit.”
The Los Angeles Zoo is located in Griffith Park at 5333 Zoo Drive. For more information, check out the website at lazoo.org.