Denver Zoo welcomes three baby Komodo dragons

2018-07-31 | Daily Pilot (Costa Mesa, Calif.)

July 30--The Komodo wing at the Denver Zoo has three new residents crawling around.

The three baby Komodo dragons (two boys and one girl) arrived a few weeks ago from the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas, but the siblings didn't make their public debut until this past weekend.

Ryu, Bai and Saphira are 9 months old, 18 inches long and weigh about 2 pounds each.

That may sound small for the world's largest lizard, but these babies have a lot of growing to do.

"Right now we are trying to grow them pretty slowly because we've seen a lot of health benefits from it," reptile keeper Troy Bumgardner said.

It should them take about six to eight years to reach their full size of about 5 feet long and 100 pounds.

The two brothers and one sister are living together for the next few years. Bumgardner said visitors can tell them apart by a stripe of non-toxic paint the zoo painted on each of their tails. Saphira is purple, Bai is yellow and Ryu is green.

They'll have to be separated for their own safety sometime after their second birthdays.

"We've observed in the past that at about two years of age they start to become more territorial," Bumgardner said.

The zoo's two adult Komodo dragons, 15-year old Raja and 8-year-old Kristika, have their own enclosures in the Komodo wing in the Tropical Discovery area of the zoo.

The zoo doesn't plan to breed their current Komodo dragons with each other because they're all related. The babies are the nieces and nephews of the adult dragons. The hope is to acquire another male or female for breeding.