Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, July 6, 2018

Chattanooga Zoo set to open Komodo dragon exhibit

The Chattanooga Zoo will soon open a Komodo dragon breeding facility as part of a program to save the species in the wild. - shutterstock.com

The Chattanooga Zoo is opening a Komodo dragon breeding facility and outdoor exhibit this month.

The Chattanooga Zoo currently houses two Komodo dragons – Kadal, a male, and Charlie, a female. Kadal and Charlie have been placed at the zoo as a recommended breeding pair by the Species Survival Plan.

The plan is a population management and conservation program created by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The program focuses on animal breeding of threatened species by strictly monitoring the placement and propagation of selected species.

Komodo dragons are listed as a vulnerable species, with 5,000 left in the wild due mostly to habitat loss. The zoo’s male and female have both reached sexual maturity and will be placed together for the first time to breed this year.

The new breeding facility will provide a safe haven for breeding, expectant mothers and potential offspring. The facility will include a keeper work area and two large indoor dens, including one with a pond and nesting area to lay eggs and raise young dragons.

This building will serve as a connecter between the current indoor exhibit, the new outdoor exhibit and the outdoor off-exhibit yard through shifting chutes. Additionally, it will offer better spaces for veterinarian examinations and daily care of these large lizards.

As Komodo dragons do not live together outside their breeding season, the zoo’s current public exhibit only allows for one animal to be viewed at a time. The new outdoor exhibit will allow guests to view and learn about each of the Komodo dragons at two separate exhibits in a single visit – weather permitting.

The official opening for the new outdoor exhibit is scheduled to take place Saturday, July 28.

Source: Chattanooga Zoo