Year of the Dragon
On the 10th February 2024, the Lunar calendar resets and this year, will be celebrating the Chinese Dragon!
The Chinese Dragon may be a fictitious creature, but here at Colchester Zoo, we have some very real dragons of our own!
Komodo Dragon Feeding Session
These giant reptiles only get a feed once every month and we give them a whole or half a small deer carcass sourced through local game keepers. During the session, there is a commentary of how this type of feed is beneficial to our pair as well as some further details about how we care for our Komodo Dragons.
Colchester Zoo first introduced Komodo Dragons to its collection in 2006 to become part of the European Ex Situ Programme (EEP) for this species. In January 2013, the Zoo saw the hatching of our first baby Komodo Dragon; Curu. It was later confirmed that Mutu and Telu had become the first Komodo Dragons in the UK to breed through natural mating. From a breeding programme point of view, the aim is to form pairs of Komodo Dragons to retain genetic diversity through natural mating.
We are now home to two Komodo Dragons, who can be found in our Dragons of Komodo exhibit. Talibo and Atal were both bred here at the Zoo and are now 9 years old. Both are inquisitive and curious creatures, although Talibo is much more outgoing than Atal who tends to have a more relaxed temperament. In order to replicate the diet, they would typically have out in the wild, they are given one large feed per month. Komodo Dragons have an exceptionally strong sense of smell, so our Animal Care Team also put lots of different scents in their enclosures each day – their favourite is hot chocolate! The best time to see our pair is early in the morning as this is when they are most active.
Action for the Wild
Our charity, Action for the Wild, supports the conservation of Komodo Dragons in the wild since 2005 by donating funds to the Komodo Survival Programme. You can find out more about our projects here.