One of The Australian Reptile Park’s famous residents, Daenerys the Komodo dragon, had her first vet visit with her recently hatched triplet of babies today. The vet visit for Daenerys included weighing the “Mother of Dragons” as well as an ultrasound to check in on her reproductive health post-laying her first successful clutch of eggs. Her three 3-month-old babies also underwent weighing and measuring, as well as X-rays and check of their overall condition.

Daenerys came in at 23.5kg in weight which is a great result for the ten-year-old dragon. The health check saw that she had maintained a healthy weight after laying her clutch. Her ultrasound revealed small follicular development and that all was well with her reproductive health. Her tiny trio off offspring’s results concluded that all babies were measuring around 45cm in length and weighing between 142-150g – both an excellent indicator of health which sees them on track to weigh around 1 kilogram when they reach 12 months old.

Although no animal likes going to the vets, the task is a bit more challenging than your average dog or cat. Weighing the world’s largest lizard species is no easy feat! The Australian Reptile Park engaged the help of Somersby Animal Hospital to weigh Daenerys on their giant scales and local vet, Dr Robin Crisman, was on hand to give them a look over and ensure they are in good health. Thankfully, Daenerys and her babies passed the heath check with flying colours and were deemed very healthy and happy!

The incredible achievement of Komodo dragon eggs hatching at the Australian Reptile Park in April 2022 marked an Australian first as no other zoo, sanctuary or facility had successfully bred Komodo dragons in the country.

Unlike mammals, reptiles don’t actively show signs that they are unhealthy. Head of Reptiles Jake Meney explains “Yearly health checks are critical for our Komodo Dragons – as they are reptiles, they don’t actually need to eat that often, so it’s not like they just stop eating when they feel sick. The best way of ensuring their good health is by weighing them and having Robin the vet complete annual look overs.”

Mr Meney continues, “I have to say though, Daenerys and her babies are some of my absolute favourite animals here at the Australian Reptile Park, but it’s not always an easy task getting them to the vets! We’re very lucky, and have worked extremely hard, to be able to have the bond with Daenerys and her babies that we do, otherwise this wouldn’t be as smooth sailing!”

Talking to the impressive feat of being the first successful zoo in Australia to breed Komodo dragons, Mr Meney said “A lot of work goes into the breeding of Komodo dragons. These are animals that could potentially kill each other and do some serious damage to us keepers in the process. It was a bit touch and go during the initial introductions, however our female became receptive and the two mated successfully which led to the hatching of our three perfect baby dragons.”

“For now, visitors can see all three baby Komodo dragons within the Lost World of Reptiles exhibit at the Australian Reptile Park, and also see their parents Kraken and Daenerys in our impressive Komodo dragon exhibit” Mr Meney concluded.

The Komodo Dragon is the world’s largest lizard. Komodo dragons can grow up to 3-4 metres in length and weigh over 100kg.  Found on the Indonesian island of Komodo, there is a stable population of about 3,000 to 5,000 Komodo dragons in the wild. The Komodo dragon is a monitor; however, their forked tongue gives them a dragon-like appearance. They are carnivorous predators but will eat just about anything.

The status of the Komodo dragon in the wild is Vulnerable, which is the status level before endangered, on the IUCN red list.  Their numbers are declining because of human encroachment, poaching, natural disasters and a shortage of egg laying females.

The Australian Reptile Park is experiencing its final day accepting Dine & Discover NSW Vouchers both online and at the gate (30 June 2022). Visitors can simply scan their Discover Vouchers at Reception upon arrival for $25 off their tickets or they can redeem multiple vouchers online through the Australian Reptile Park’s website in exchange for ARP Discount Codes. Once the Discover Vouchers have been exchanged for ARP Discount Code, they can use multiple codes in one transaction. These codes must also be switched to tickets before 30 June as per NSW government guidelines.

For those wishing to ‘pay it forward’ to support families in need, the Australian Reptile Park’s ‘Pay Discover Forward’ program allows visitors to redeem their vouchers online and chose a charity for the Reptile Park to donate tickets to on their behalf. They will also receive a $25 ARP Discount Code to use for their own visit. Since the ‘Pay Discover Forward’ program was introduced in July last year, over $550,000 worth of tickets has been donated to charities such as Ronald McDonald House Charities, Make-A-Wish Australia, the Kids with Cancer Foundation and other deserving children’s charities.