Sixteen baby Komodo dragons hatched at the Bali Safari Park in Gianyar earlier this month and are under close supervision of the facility’s veterinary team.
In an announcement yesterday, the park claimed that this happy occasion is the first time the species has been naturally bred on the Island of Gods.
While we can’t really congratulate their mother (in case you don’t know, Komodo dragons eat their hatchlings when they have the chance), it is actually good news since the reptiles are classified as an endangered species.
“The hatchling Komodo [dragons] are in good health and [they’re] active,” said Yohana Kusumaningtyas, a vet at Bali Safari Park.
Yohana added that the baby Komodo dragons are currently being fed twice a week. Each hatchling receives dietary portions based on their body weight, which is scaled weekly.
According to Bali Safari Park zoo curator’s assistant Ida Ayu Ari Janiawati, the baby Komodo dragons came out from the nests on March 1. In total, the Bali Safari Park currently has 24 Komodo dragons.
“This is a successful natural breeding of Komodo [dragons] and the first of such incidents in Bali,” she said, adding that the park hopes the hatchlings will grow into healthy adults.
As previously reported, the Komodo dragon is now listed as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as the species face increasing threats from the impacts of climate change.
The biggest living lizards on earth are native to Komodo Island, Rinca Island, Flores Island, and Padar Island.
Two years ago, a photo went viral showing a Komodo dragon staring down a truck during the construction of a so-called “Jurassic Park” project in Rinca Island. Spearheaded by the Indonesian government, the project has been criticized for its potential harm to the environment.