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Young Komodo dragons go on display in Las Vegas

May 14, 2013 at 2:04 PM   |   Comments

LAS VEGAS, May 14 (UPI) -- An aquarium at a Las Vegas resort is pleased to be chosen as one of seven places in the United States to display Komodo dragons from Prague, Czech Republic.

The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay, which has had an adult Komodo dragon since 2000, said it was happy to welcome two juvenile Komodo dragons to the facility after the Association of Zoo and Aquariums picked it as one of seven U.S. locations to keep the reptiles, which came from the Praha Zoological Garden in the Czech Republic, the Las Vegas Sun reported Tuesday.

Komodo dragons are native to Indonesia.There are fewer than 5,000 Komodo dragons left in the world, leading the population in captivity to be closely regulated, officials said.

"We are honored to house and care for these Komodo dragons," Shark Reef Aquarium Director Adrienne Rowland said. "It's rare to have Komodo dragons with bloodlines completely unrelated to dragons hatched in North America."

The aquarium said only one of its Komodo dragons will be on display at a time because they could turn violent if they are placed in the same enclosure. Officials said the Komodo dragon enclosure had to be modified a bit to accommodate the younger lizards and their tendency to climb.

"We had to do some baby proofing," MGM spokeswoman Morgan Hernquist said. "They needed time to adjust."

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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