Trunkline Magazine (Louisville Zoo) June 2018 - Page 6

Romulus Komodo Dragon Age: 7 months Arrived: March 28, 2018 On exhibit: Late June "Getting Bigger Every Day" Many of you have been looking forward to being able to see our new Komodo dragon Romulus that arrived on March 28, 2018. Be- cause Romulus is so young (hatched October 19, 2017), he requires some special preparation to en- sure a comfortable and safe space as he grows. At the time of this article, Romulus is still in a stan- dard quarantine while his outdoor exhibit space is being built. The space will rest within the original outdoor Komodo exhibit. This will allow Romulus to enjoy the warm summer weather and the sunlight, which is critical for Komodo health and growth, while ensuring the size is safe for him to explore. Romulus is growing every day. When he ar- rived, Romulus weighed just over a half pound and was 23 inches long. He’s gained a little weight since then but he still has a long way to go. Komodo dragons generally take over a decade to grow to full size. Komodo dragons are carnivores. His current diet includes a balanced meat diet and eggs. When they are younger, Komodos may eat insects, eggs and other things that they can find near their home in the trees. As they get older and have less threat from larger predators, they will come down from the And there's more to come! This fall, we'll have more animal ambassadors to look forward to visiting including two new gray seals and three new harbor seals in Glacier Run, pan- cake tortoises and even a diamondback rattlesnake! Look for updates in our next issue of Trunkline or by fol- lowing us on social media. 6 • Louisville Zoo Trunkline • Summer 2018 trees to live on the forest floor. They will also swim between islands to find food. Komodo dragons grow to be the largest, heaviest lizards in the world. They can eat anything from smaller reptiles to pigs, to full size water buffalo. HerpAquarium Zoo keeper Chris Florence says Romulus is “a very active lizard” who is growing bolder every day and “seems to recognize the people who take care of him.” Starting in late June, you can visit Romulus on exhibit in the HerpAquarium. Did you know? Almost all of the births at AZA- accredited Zoos are planned. We do this to insure that all animal offspring from our Zoos have great quality homes and the species is able to maintain strong genetic integrity. Many animals such as tigers and polar bears are solitary animals and typically live most of their lives on their own in managed environments as they do in the vanishing wild. This is why you may see only one of these animals on exhibit.