Friday, July 11, 2014
New at the Zoo: Komodo Dragons
The world's largest lizard species is now calling Nashville Zoo home. Guests can now see Komodo Dragons on exhibit in the Unseen New World.
The two lizards, both female, hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo in August 2013. They are currently around two feet long and weigh 2 lbs., but will grow to be over nine feet long and weigh around 200 lbs. in adulthood.
Native to the volcanic islands of Indonesia, Komodo Dragons are carnivorous apex predators, meaning they reside at the top of the food chain having few to no other predators in their environment. They are also known for being efficient eaters, managing to eat 80 percent of their body weight in one meal. As an adult, that’s over 100 lbs. of meat.
Komodo Dragons are listed by the International Union of Conservation of Nature as vulnerable due to habitat loss, loss of prey species, hunting and persecution. Fewer than 2,500 remain in the wild.
At Nashville Zoo, guests can expect to see them in Unseen New World for approximately a year until they are moved off-exhibit while a permanent habitat is designed and constructed.