Komodo dragon named after a Game of Thrones character makes history by laying 15 eggs at an Australian zoo
- Earlier this week ‘Daenerys’ laid 15 eggs at Australian Reptile Park in Somersby
- No other zoo, sanctuary, or facility in Australia has successfully bred komodos
- The operation to move the eggs from the nest to an incubator was no easy task
- A bite from a komodo dragon can be fatal and kill a human within minutes
A komodo dragon named after a popular Game of Thrones character has laid eggs for the first time in Australia.
Earlier this week ‘Daenerys’ laid 15 eggs at the Australian Reptile Park in Somersby, 85km north of Sydney.
No other zoo, sanctuary, or facility in the country has successfully bred komodo dragons through to the egg laying stage, making it an Australian first.
Australian Reptile Park’s komodo dragon breeding program Australia’s first to successfully move to egg laying phase (pictured)
The operation to move the eggs from the nest to an incubator was no easy task, with keepers putting their lives and limbs on the line.
A venomous bite from a komodo dragon can be fatal, so keepers had to keep their wits about them while retrieving the eggs.
They used food to lure the dragon away from her nest before collecting them.
The eggs will undergo an eight-month incubation period, with the temperature to be constantly monitored.
Keepers were able to retrieve all 15 eggs (pictured) and move them to an incubator
Australian Reptile Park head of reptiles Daniel Rumsey said the breeding program was dangerous to both the keepers and the dragons.
‘These are two animals that could potentially kill each other and do some serious damage to us keepers in the process,’ he said.
‘It was a bit touch and go during the initial introductions, however our female became receptive and the two mated successfully.’
Komodo dragons are the largest living lizard species and are often described as modern day dinosaurs.
The dragons are found on the island of Komodo in Indonesia and are classified as a monitor lizard, its forked tongue responsible for its dragon title.
Komodo dragon Daenerys (pictured) is the first komodo dragon to lay eggs in captivity in Australia
The komodo dragon was recently moved from a vulnerable species to endangered on the IUCN Red List with a population between 3,000 and 5,000 living in the wild.
Breeding programs are considered by wildlife experts to be a crucial step for the species as populations struggle in the wild.
The eggs are due to hatch in eight months time in April of 2022 so make sure to follow Australian Reptile Park on Facebook to stay up to date with their progress.