A Dragon in West Orange!

BY  |  Thursday, May 03, 2012 3:15pm  |  COMMENTS (8)

Update: His name is Shu!

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.


  1. POSTED BY Holly Korus  |  May 03, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

    We welcomed the dragon yesterday on my son’s field trip. It poured rain the whole morning so the reptile house was the only warm dry place at the zoo.

    Most of the animal were hiding in the rain. Usually the wolves are rather shy but yesterday the ran to the glass and put their paws up on the glass. It was kinda creepy.

    When are they opening the honey badger habitat?

  2. POSTED BY Mrs Martta  |  May 03, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

    That’s what my skin looks like in the winter.

    Seriously, he (or she) is cute and I need to pay a visit.

  3. POSTED BY bobmellman  |  May 03, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

    As devotees of Bob and Ray know, the world’s leading Komodo Dragon authority, Dr. Daryll Dexter, hailed from Upper Montclair, NJ. Now that there’s a Komodo Dragon in West Orange, it won’t be necessary to travel to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., to see one.

  4. POSTED BY walleroo  |  May 03, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

    Oh, snap! Maybe I can borrow Georgette’s kids as cover to go out to Turtleback to see this beast.

  5. POSTED BY Georgette Gilmore  |  May 03, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

    Sure roo! You can take my kids for the day. Pick them up first thing when they wake up at 7 am and bring them back for bedtime at 7:30.

  6. POSTED BY Nellie  |  May 03, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

    He looks like he is looking for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

  7. POSTED BY Holly Korus  |  May 03, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

    Hey my kids love the zoo too!

    This week is getting better and better. First I now have my own personal grocery shopper and now a zoo nanny!

    Who wants to come clean my house?

  8. POSTED BY walleroo  |  May 03, 2012 @ 8:58 pm

    All right, I’ll pick up the kids in the morning. I’ll take them to the park until the zoo opens. Then I’ll take them to McDonalds. Then I’ll bring them back to the house and have them count my gold coins all afternoon, back to Mickey Ds for dinner and that’s a wrap.

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