FIVE Komodo Dragons have been hatched in a Spanish zoo.
This is the first successful breeding of the world’s largest lizard in Spain for a decade. Currently there are only 1,300 of the endangered species in the wild.
The breeding success at Fuengirola BioParc is a milestone for the species as it is particularly difficult to get the lizards to mate.
Female dragons are only on heat for one week a year and spend the other 51 weeks actively avoiding the male. In the case of the two dragons at Fuengirola, the male and female were kept separately because if they were to fight it could be fatal given their weight difference of approximately 12 kilograms.
Each of the baby dragons have been named: Juanito (for being conceived on San Juan’s day), Phoenix (as his egg broke during incubation but he managed to survive), Embum (meaning ‘morning dew’ in Indonesian), Saya (a tribute to a previous female dragon at the zoo) and Drakaris (named by a team member who is a self confessed Game of Thrones fan).
Komodo dragons weigh an average of 70 kilograms but the largest verified specimen is recorded to have weighed 166 kilograms. The young are prey for their adult parents and so spend their first year of life up in trees to protect themselves. In the biopark the hatchlings will each be in separate terrariums where they will feed on mice, worms and insects.
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