SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Zoo is caring for ten newly-hatched Komodo dragons.
San Antonio Zoo officials announced Tuesday that 10 baby dragons successfully hatched between Oct. 17 and 27 with two males, four females, and four dragons whose sex is yet to be determined.
It’s a big win for the species which was downgraded from Vulnerable to Endangered this year with less than 1,400 mature individuals estimated to be left in the entire world.
“This monumental hatching is a testament to the zoo’s persistence and commitment to conservation,” said president and CEO of San Antonio Zoo Tim Morrow. “The hatchlings are thriving, and we are looking forward to watching them grow and help preserve the existence of Komodo dragons.”
Komodo dragons are at risk due to their limited habitat range, which is comprised of six islands in southern Indonesia, with most of the population living on Komodo Island.
Limitations of the dragon’s habitat range, development that consumes that habitat, and the impending threat of habitat loss from climate change as ocean water levels continue to rise are all contributing threats to the species.
San Antonio Zoo’s dragon, Kristika, successfully mated last winter with Boga, the dragon who lives at the Houston Zoo.
Species Survival Program officials determined the pair would be a genetically strong match and on March 8, 2021 Kristika successfully laid her eggs.
Incubation ranged from 223-233 days for this clutch, according to zoo officials.
According to the San Diego Zoo, Komodo dragon eggs are the size of a grapefruit.
San Antonio Zoo officials said of the more than 3,000 lizard species in the world, Komodo dragons are the largest.
“It is a type of monitor lizard, an ancient group of reptiles with ancestors that date back more than 100 million years,” zoo officials said.
The reptiles can grow up to 10 feet and weigh up to 330 pounds, according to National Geographic.
Zoo officials have not said when the baby dragons will be available to view but you can watch them hatch in the video player above.