Indonesia Zoo Welcomes Seven Komodo Dragon Babies

Created: 2013-03-19 14:37 EST

Category: World > Asia Pacific

A zoo in Indonesia's East Java Province recently welcomed seven baby Komodo dragons.

Surabaya zoo artificially incubated the eggs in the hope that they would have a better chance of survival, away from the dangers of preying lizards.

[Anthan Warsito, Surabaya Zoo Spokesman]:
"We have successfully hatched seven Komodo Dragon babies from 21 eggs we collected from two female komodos."

The zoo has been successfully conducting artificial incubation of Komodo Dragon eggs since the 1990s.

Warsito added that more komodo dragon babies were expected.

[Anthan Warsito, Surabaya Zoo Spokesman]:
"There are 10 eggs that will be ready to hatch some time at the end of March or in April," he said.

The latest seven Komodo dragon babies hatched on March 10 bring the total number in the zoo's collection to 63.

Baby Komodo dragons weigh about 140-170 grams (5-6 ounces) each and when full grown they can be more than three metres (10 ft.) and weigh up to 100 kg (220 pounds).

The life expectancy of a Komodo dragon is generally between 20 to 40 years.

There is a stable population of about 3,000 to 5,000 of the Komodo dragons on the islands of Komodo, Gila Motang, Rinca, and Flores.

However, a lack of egg-laying females, poaching, human encroachment, and natural disasters have driven the species to endangered status.