PHOTOS, VIDEO: Bronx Zoo Komodo dragon exhibit set to open

Dragons are back at the Bronx Zoo.

Komodo dragons are making their first return to the Bronx since the 1950s as part of the zoo’s newest habitat, “Amazing Monitors,” opening this weekend.

The world’s largest living species of lizard, fully-grown adult males can reach nine feet and 360 pounds, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the Bronx Zoo.

Komodo dragons can consume up to 80 percent of their body in one feeding, snacking on large and small animals alike, including deer, buffalo, reptiles, birds, eggs, carrion and even their own species.

bronx zoo komodo dragon exhibit
Komodo dragon’s saliva contains a toxic mix of bacteria and venom fractions.
Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © Wildlife Conservation Society

Their prey can get a quick death — the dragon’s bite can inflict a “serious wound” and their saliva contains a toxic mix of bacteria and venom fractions. Komodo dragons can also track escaped prey (that are still likely to die from the bite) by flicking their tongues to pick up scents.

“Komodo dragons are one of nature’s most amazing creatures,” Bronx Zoo director Jim Breheny said in a statement. “They are the top predator in the environment in which they live.”

bronx zoo komodo dragon exhibit 2
According to estimates, less than 350 breeding Komodo dragon females live in the wild.
Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © Wildlife Conservation Society

The dragons are native to the eastern Indonesian islands of Komodo, Flores, Rinca, Padar, Gili Motang and Nusa Kode. According to estimates, less than 2,500 remain in the wild with as few as 350 breeding females. The International Union for Conservation of Nature classified Komodo dragons as “vulnerable.”

The Bronx Zoo has three adolescent Komodo dragons, two females and one male, each longer than 5 feet.

The new exhibit, in the Zoo Center building, features three other monitor lizard species. For more information, click here.

bronx zoo komodo dragon exhibit 1
Komodo dragons will be featured in a new habitat opening at the Bronx Zoo.
Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © Wildlife Conservation Society

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 11,…

Caleb's not a ghost. Spencer might still be an attempted murderer. And Hanna's going to die next week. In other words, we actually got some…

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.