If you don’t believe in dragons, you might want to watch the below video. The amazing clip shows baby Komodo dragons hatching recently at the Bronx Zoo.
Six Komodo dragons, in all, hatched at the zoo, which is a rare occurrence. According to the Bronx Zoo, this is the first time the species has been successfully bred in the zoo’s 122-year history.
“The eggs were laid in April and placed in an incubator where they were carefully monitored until they hatched in November,” the Bronx Zoo said. “This successful breeding is the result of years of work by the zoo’s Herpetology Department staff. Some of the new hatchlings can currently be seen on exhibit in World of Reptiles.”
The silent footage was recently posted on the Bronx Zoo’s Facebook page and quickly went viral. Though the dragons look small and cute now, they can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh as much as 150 pounds.
Of course, Komodo dragons have no relation to the flying, fire-breathing dragons of mythical, and Game of Thrones, lore. They’re a member of the monitor lizard family and are endemic to several Indonesian islands including the island of Komodo, where this apex predator takes its name.
According to the Wildlife Conservation center, fewer than 2,500 Komodo dragons still remain in the wild with as few as 350 breeding females. Being able to breed them in captivity allows these endangered dragons to be studied up close.
“This is an important achievement for zoo staff and a significant milestone for the Bronx Zoo,” Don Boyer, the curator of herpetology at the Bronx Zoo, told Time Out. “Komodo dragons are one of the planet’s most fascinating species and these hatchlings represent a hopeful future for the species. They will be wonderful ambassadors for their wild counterparts as they help us raise awareness about conservation needs.”