There’s a dragon in Baristaville! Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. welcomed a Komodo Dragon to the family of animals at Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange today. Shu, the Komodo Dragon is expected to become the marquee reptile in the Reptile and Education building where its exhibit is located and makes Turtle Back Zoo the Tri-State area to have Komodo Dragons on display.
According to Turtle Back Zoo, “The Komodo Dragon at Turtle Back is a male that is four and half feet long and weighs about 40 pounds, which is about half the size it will reach when it is a full-grown adult. It typically lives in dry, open grassland, savanna and tropical forests at low elevations and is native to the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang and Padar. The reptile has sharp teeth and claws, and preys on birds, deer and other mammals. Komodo Dragons are primarily solitary reptiles, and come together only to breed and eat.”
To celebrate the arrival of the Komodo Dragon, Turtle Back Zoo is planning a series of dragon-themed activities this year, which is the Chinese Year of the Dragon. In addition, about a half dozen new species will be added to the Reptile and Education Building this summer. Some of those species include endangered bali mynahs, roul rouls, fire skinks and sailfin dragons.