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Two Komodo dragons die at Phoenix Zoo

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Zoo announced Friday that two of its Komodo dragons died in September.

Ivan, a male Komodo dragon, died Sept. 12 and Gaia, a female, died Sept. 19. Both came from the same clutch of eggs and were 20-years-old.

Results showed that both animals died from multiple age-related issues.

“Ivan was a big animal with an even bigger personality and will be missed,” Phoenix Zoo Manager of Ectotherms Paula Swanson said. “He was curious and would interact with visitors through the glass.”

Swanson also had some kind word for Gaia.

“She liked to tease Ivan a little bit. They had to modify their exhibit because sometimes when Ivan would walk by, if she saw his tail sticking out from under the doorway, she’d go over and try to nip Ivan’s tail.”

The zoo still has two Komodo dragons. They were both born in January and will be moved to the Komodo dragon exhibit as they mature. Neither has been named.

It’s estimated that only 3,000 to 5,000 Komodo dragons remain in the wild. They are considered a species vulnerable to extinction.