NEW YORK (PIX11) — Six Komodo dragons hatched at the Bronx Zoo last month, the first time the species successfully bred in the zoo’s history. After years of work by the zoo’s Herpetology Department, a pair of Komodos bred in March, according to the zoo.
The female then laid eggs in April, which were then placed in an incubator where they were monitored for seven months before hatching in November, zoo officials said. Keepers had to carefully monitor the adult Komodos when paired for mating as courtship behaviors can be aggressive.
“This is an important achievement for zoo staff and a significant milestone for the Bronx Zoo,” said Don Boyer, Curator of Herpetology at the Bronx Zoo. “Komodo dragons are one of the planet’s most fascinating species and these hatchlings represent a hopeful future for the species. They will be wonderful ambassadors for their wild counterparts as they help us raise awareness about conservation needs.”
The Bronx Zoo first opened its Komodo dragon exhibit in 2014, the first time the species was housed in the zoo since the 1950s.
Considered the world’s largest living lizard species, Komodo dragons have been classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is estimated that there are fewer than 2,500 Komodo dragons remaining in the wild, with as few as 250 breeding females, according to the zoo.