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Australian Reptile Park celebrates successful mating of Komodo dragons
The Australian Reptile Park are celebrating the successful mating of the Park’s resident Komodo dragons Komodo dragons - marking an Australian first as no other zoo, sanctuary or facility have successfully bred Komodo dragons in the country.
Komodo dragons are the largest living lizard species and virtually modern-day dinosaurs. A venomous bite from a Komodo dragon is potentially life-threatening with keepers risked life and limb to give the endangered Komodo dragons a helping hand and to ensure they did not kill each other in the process.
Thankfully, the introduction of the two massive lizards - Kraken and Daenerys - went according to plan and successful copulation was spotted multiple times. This means positive signs for the breeding program and an important step for the species as they are considered under threat in the wild.
Head of Reptiles, Daniel Rumsey notes “a lot of work goes into the breeding of Komodo dragons. These are two animals that could potentially kill each other and do some serious damage to us keepers in the process. It was a bit touch and go during the initial introductions, however our female became receptive and the two mated successfully.”
Rumsey added “to be able to see our hard work come to fruition and witness copulation is just really quite incredible. I’ve been working with our two Komodo dragons for around five years and to see them mating, is just one of the awe-inspiring things I’ve ever seen as a zookeeper.”
For now, it is a waiting game as the staff eagerly wait for Daenerys to lay her eggs in her purpose-built nest box. Staff are currently beaming with excitement and waiting in anticipation for the day they see the eggs and then Komodo dragon hatchlings.
The Komodo dragon is a living dinosaur and the world’s largest lizard. Komodo dragons can grow up to four metres in length and weigh over 100kg. Found on the Indonesian island of Komodo, there is a stable population of about 3,000 to 5,000 Komodo dragons in the wild. The Komodo dragon is a monitor; however, their forked tongue gives them a dragon-like appearance. They are carnivorous predators but will eat just about anything.
The status of the Komodo dragon in the wild is Vulnerable, which is the status level before endangered, on the IUCN red list. Their numbers are declining because of human encroachment, poaching, natural disasters, and a shortage of egg laying females. Breeding programs, like that of the Australian Reptile Park, are of the utmost importance.
The Australian Reptile Park is a hands-on zoo located the natural bush setting of the Central Coast of NSW, only 60 minutes from Sydney or Newcastle. During lockdown, the Park is posting educational videos to social media and live streaming with their animals to assist parents and teachers with at-home learning.
More information at www.reptilepark.com.au
14th April 2021 - Australian Reptile Park Ranger marks 60,000th show
3rd August 2020 - Australian Reptile Park announces successful koala breeding season
16th July 2020 - Australian Reptile Park celebrates World Snake Day
15th June 2020 - Australian Reptile Park rescues abandoned Parma wallaby joey
9th June 2020 - Record breaking Taipan venom yield at Australian Reptile Park
3rd April 2020 - Australian Reptile Park launches new online educational initiative
5th February 2020 - Australian Reptile Park receives giant funnel web spider
17th January 2020 - The Australian Reptile Park relocates animals following severe flooding
21st December 2019 - Australian Reptile Park opens new exhibit
4th December 2019 - Jurassic Zoo returns for summer at Australian Reptile Park
4th October 2019 - Australian Reptile Park celebrates International Zookeeper Day
6th August 2019 - Australian Reptile Park secures NSW Major Tourist Attraction award
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