Five Komodo Dragon hatchlings were born at a zoo, Spain. This is the first successful breeding of this endangered species in Spain in a decade.
"This is a huge achievement for all of us," Milagros Roberto, head of the Herpetology section at the Bioparc Fuengirola zoo south of Spain, and self-described "mother of the dragons", said on Tuesday.
A 13-year-old girl named Ora was their birth mother and laid 12 eggs in August. Five of the dozen eggs were chosen and artificially incubated for seven months.
Robledo stated that hatchlings were a "hopeful future", adding that it was a difficult task.
Although the hatchlings are smaller than a lemon and much shorter than a shoebox they will eventually grow to be nearly three metres in length (10 feet). They could also reach 70 kilos (150 lbs) in weight, with sharp teeth and a venomous bite.
These apex predators, which are native to four islands in Indonesia, were added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) "Red List" in 2021. This is because only 1,500 species remain in habitats threatened by climate change.
The parents of the baby dragons were mated last June 24, when Spaniards celebrated St John’s Day. Juanito was the name given to Juanito, in honor of the date at which Juanito was born.
Juanito has two siblings: Fenix, named after the egg that survived damage during incubation and Drakaris. Drakaris is a reference George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series "A Song of Ice and Fire" is a hit.
Robledo stated that newborn Komodo dragons in the wild tend to migrate to the trees and do not require maternal or paternal care. They are kept in separate terrariums in captivity so that veterinarians can monitor their growth and they can be reunited with the public.