Komodo monitor lizards have come to our park from the Colchester ZOO. Three seven months old females are 60 cm long. For the time being you can watch them in the terrarium, but new construction works are planned aimed at building a new exhibition, which would also provide good conditions for adult lizards.
Apart from our ZOO, only the Poznań ZOO houses adult monitor lizards. Komodo monitor lizards, known also as Komodo dragons, are as large as some crocodiles, as they can measure three meters and weight 70 kg. They can produce lethal, toxic saliva which causes death of the bitten animal within a few hours up to a few days. The issue whether the proteins in monitors’ saliva are truly a poison or whether, and that is more probable, such effects are caused by a kind of specific cocktail of pathogenic bacteria, is still under discussion. What is more, the lizards display incredible intelligence, unusual among other reptiles.
They can run at a speed of 20 km per hour, dive in depth of 4,5 meters and climb trees. Their excellent sense of smell allows them to localize the carcass from several kilometers and the agile eyes make it possible for them to see in color and at a distance of approximately 300 meters. During one meal they can consume food constituting up to 70% of their own weight.
As first, Komodo monitor lizards appeared in the London ZOO in 1927. Since then, Komodo dragons are a major attraction of any zoological garden they inhabit. Unfortunately, this species is an endangered one. Its total population is no more than 5,000 individuals.