Six endangered Komodo dragons hatch at ZooTampa

TAMPA, Fla. — Six recently hatched Komodo dragons will eventually grow into some of the largest lizards on Earth.

The babies were the first to ever hatch at ZooTampa at Lowry Park. Komodo dragons are endangered, and there are an estimated 1,400 adult Komodo dragons left in the wild.


“These first-time additions at the Zoo are a big win for conservation,” said Dan Costell, associate curator of Herpetology at ZooTampa. “It was a long process, and we are excited that these additions to a key endangered species are finally here.”

Zoo officials said the babies from mother Aanjay, age 13, and father Titus, age 12, started hatching Aug. 21, after a nine-month incubation. Their eggs were about the size of goose eggs.

Photos: ZooTampa hatches endangered Komodo dragons

Officials said the clutch of six hatchlings comprises of three females and three males, each weighing around 100 grams and sitting at 10 inches long.

Officials said Komodo dragons are one of 99 species that the zoo is working to save and protect at the Zoo as part of the Association of Zoos & Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan program.

Read: ‘His legacy will live on’: Brevard Zoo announces passing of longtime resident giraffe ‘Rafiki’

“Being a part of the Species Survival Plan program, ZooTampa has a shared commitment to ensure the sustainability of a healthy, genetically diverse and demographically varied reptile population,” Costell said.

Zoo officials said the babies will remain behind the scenes until they make their debut to the public this fall.

Read: Spooky animal fun is coming to the Central Florida Zoo next month

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.

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