Komodo Dragons are the reptile world's gorilla equivalent – big and charismatic.
Our Komodo Dragon enclosure, which can be found in the Islands in Danger exhibit, is home to a male, Jantan, and a female, Ora, who both arrived here from Prague Zoo in 2014.
Komodo Dragons are the largest lizards on the planet - over two metres in length. They're also one of the oldest and look like it too – all knobbly, scaly.
Some of you might think them ugly. But we certainly don't, we think they're fantastic, magical, muscular and mysterious. They can also be gentle, curious and love exploring. We lay scent trails to stimulate their natural curiosity and keep their surroundings really interesting for them.
Our Komodo Dragons also share their exhibit with a number of birds, and hopefully soon with smaller skinks too.
In 2007 Chester Zoo made international headlines, which led to calls from puzzled scientists, researchers and conservationists from all over the world when Flora – a Komodo dragon which then lived at the zoo – reproduced having never named mated; a process called parthenogenesis. It was the first time this had ever been witnessed in the species and has since helped humans to gain a much deeper understanding of the remarkable animals.
We also support Wae Wuul Nature Reserve on Flores, one of the Indonesian isles where Komodo Dragons live in the wild. The project includes educating people about their importance, monitoring dragon numbers, warden patrols and protecting the local environment which is home to a wealth of animal and plant life.
Your visits to Chester Zoo help us to continue funding support for the reserve.
Where they live: Indonesian islands of Komodo, Flores, Rinca, Gili Motang and Gili Dasami, and Padar (not seen here since the 1970’s but reintroduction is a possibility).
Habitat: Tropical monsoon forest, palm savannah and grasslands.
Size: Up to 3 metres.
Weight: Up to 80kg.
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List: Vulnerable.
Threats: Habitat loss throughout their entire range. Loss of prey species by widespread poaching of deer; the Komodo dragon’s chief prey source. Hunting and persecution. Fires, set deliberately to encourage new vegetation growth to attract deer for poaching