9:54 AM PST, November 9, 2021
A zoo in the Indonesian city of Surabaya is breeding Komodo dragons to save the world’s largest lizards from extinction as climate change poses new dangers for the creatures.
The giant lizards are only found on the remote island of Komodo and several neighboring islands in eastern Indonesia.
In September, the International Union for Conservation of Nature put them on their red list of threatened species because of climate change threats.
The union warns that rising global temperatures and sea levels are expected to reduce the Komodo dragon’s suitable habitats by at least 30% in the next 45 years.
Zoo officials hope that their efforts to save the lizards will draw the attention of world leaders.
Since launching the program, the zoo has built up its Komodo dragon population to 108 adults and 35 young ones, with 40 eggs being incubated.
Zookeepers say the temperature and humidity had to be just right for optimal mating. They hope that dragons bred in captivity can one day be introduced to the wild.