PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A member of the largest living species of lizard has taken up residence at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence.
Elsie, a 3-year-old Komodo dragon, moved up to Providence from the Oglebay Good Zoo in Wheeling, W.V., said the zoo’s executive director, Dr. Jeremy Goodman. The reptile was introduced during a special event Friday which highlighted the number of animals on the critically endangered list.
In fact, Komodo dragons as a species are not themselves endangered per se, but they’re “threatened” right now, said Dr. Goodman. The species is more than four million years old.
Elsie is the product of a cooperative effort with other zoos nationwide. Her father was housed at Zoo Miami, her mother at the Minnesota Zoo, and they got together at the Los Angeles Zoo, where Elsie ended up being born.
“She’ll be part of the breeding program when she gets a little bit older,” Dr. Goodman said.
Komodo dragons can grow up to ten feet long and weigh up to 150 pounds. Right now, Elsie measures four feet long. The zoo had to construct a special exhibit over the last 45 days to house her.
Roger Williams Park Zoo is the only zoo in New England providing a home for the reptile.