Three of our dragons are missing: Indonesian zoo

Two male Komodo dragons fight over a female dragon during courtship in Komodo island
Photo illustration of two male Komodo dragons fighting over a female dragon during courtship in Komodo island. Three young Komodo dragons have gone missing from a zoo in Indonesia, a spokesman said Tuesday, warning that the lost lizards were dangerous and fast on their feet.

Three young Komodo dragons have gone missing from a zoo in Indonesia, a spokesman said Tuesday, warning that the lost lizards were dangerous and fast on their feet.

The missing reptiles, which measured 50 centimetres (20 inches) to a metre long, were each around one year old and disappeared from their cage early this month, Surabaya zoo spokesman Agus Supangkat told AFP.

"We're worried if the Komodo dragons escaped. They're dangerous. Young Komodos like the ones missing love to climb trees and can move very fast."

The has more than 50 of the giant and trees in the cage had been trimmed to prevent any of the remaining animals escaping, Supangkat added.

"They could have been eaten by , stolen or escaped. The zookeepers have said they didn't take them. The police are still investigating."

Until recently Komodo dragons were believed to hunt with a "bite and wait" strategy using toxic bacteria in their to weaken or kill their prey, before descending in numbers to feast.

But in 2005 researchers found that dragons' jaws are armed with highly sophisticated poison glands that can cause paralysis, spasms and shock through haemorrhaging.

The world's largest monitor lizard, Komodos can grow up to three metres (10 feet) long and weigh up to 140 kilograms (310 pounds). They are unique to a small group of islands in eastern Indonesia.


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(c) 2011 AFP

Citation: Three of our dragons are missing: Indonesian zoo (2011, March 22) retrieved 23 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-03-dragons-indonesian-zoo.html
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