The Animal Facts Editorial Team
July 7, 2023 10:38 am
Nashville Zoo, Tennessee, The United States
The new habitat is a record-breaker as the largest Komodo dragon enclosure in the Americas. It’s large size is designed to support multiple lizards living together with capacity for two adult males, three adult females and juvenile Komodo dragons.
A number of the lizard’s which will call the habitat home are currently housed behind the scenes at the zoo. This includes Lil Sebastian (pictured above and below) who is currently the largest lizard at the zoo measuring 9ft long. Adult Komodo dragons may reach a length of up to 10ft long.
Guests will find the Komodo dragon habitat along the way to the Zoo’s HCA Healthcare Veterinary Center. Features of the newly built habitat include elevated viewing at several points along the path and an indoor building with a large window allowing for eye to eye viewing. A range on interactive signs will allow guests to learn about Komodo dragon biology, natural habitat and the Zoo’s work to protect this species.
The exhibit will also change with the seasons. During summer when the Komodo dragons are outside their inside enclosure will be used by crocodile monitors. Crocodile monitors are a large, arboreal lizard which comes from New Guinea. During winter while the Komodo dragons move inside their outdoor habitat will be used by red-crowned cranes, a winter-hardy bird.
Komodo dragons are native to the Lesser Sunda Indonesian Islands. They are considered endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Nashville Zoo work with the Komodo Dragon Species Survival Plan® to help ensure genetically diverse dragon populations in human care.
The zoo also partner with Komodo Survival Program to save the species in the wild. This organization is dedicated to Komodo dragon educational initiatives and hands-on conservation work with wild populations.
Renderings released by Nashville Zoo show the Komodo Dragon habitat which is set to open on July 17 2023 at the Tennessee attraction. It shows the indoor habitat (left) and outdoor habitat (right). Image: © Nashville Zoo
A Komodo dragon will subdue its prey using a venomous bite. While prey may not succumb immediately the lizard will follow the prey item until it does. This allows them to hunt species as large as the buffalo.
Image: © Nashville Zoo
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