Saving komodo dragons from extinction
The two komodo dragons could have their first offspring in three-year’s time. “Rakastan is part of a vast breeding programme exchange between European and North American komodo dragons. Prague Zoo significantly contributed to the exchange: all the ten komodo dragons intended for North American zoo gardens hatched in Prague in 2010,“ explained the director of Prague Zoo, Miloslav Bobek.
The combination of the line of the female komodo dragon Aranka from Prague Zoo with American genetic lines should in the coming years exclude the necessity of inter breeding both in the European and American breeding of komodo dragons.
Rakastan hatched on 5th August 2011 in Los Angeles Zoo. His parents are male Buru from Washington and eight-year-old female Lima from Toronto. All Rakastan’s grandparents come from Indonesia. Like all komodo dragons bred in zoological gardens around the Word, he belongs to the population inhabiting the islands of Rinca and Flores.
The new komodo dragon measures 90 cm and weighs about 700 g. He is much smaller than his peers from Prague Zoo, who measure approximately 110 cm and weigh 2-2.5 kg. This difference is the result of different breeding methods in different zoological gardens.
Rakastan is doing well
“Despite his small physique, the komodo dragon is healthy, lively, inquisitive and acts boldly,” said Prague Zoo’s reptile curator Petr Velenský. At present, he is living in a spacious terrarium in the komodo dragon breeding base. His future partner is one year older Rancha, daughter of the Prague komodo dragon Aranka. The age and physical difference of the two partners can be an advantage for their first meeting, which could take place in two years’ time.