Well, Komodo Dragons, We Finally Meet.
I assumed that I would never get to see komodo dragons in real life. After writing that Komodo Island was one of the five places I would never visit, and then booking a cruise to Komodo Island, only to wreck and wash up onto it in the middle of the night, I thought that we were being kept apart for a reason.
So when I ended up at the Chester Zoo in Chester, England — easily one of the best zoos in Europe — I casually ignored the dragon building.
“Don’t you want to see the dragons?” Dave asked me.
I shrugged sheepishly. “I just don’t think we’re meant to meet.”
“Are you sure?”
So we walked around and observed the other animals:
The pink flamingos perched on skinny legs.
A sad and despondent red panda who had no companions with him.
A group of endlessly entertaining meerkats.
By the time we left the meerkats, we were at the komodo dragon building again…and Dave convinced me that we had to go in.
So we did. In a hot, moist building, I finally came face to face with the lizard.
We made eye contact. She glared at me. Slowly, one of her beefy, scaly arms landed in front of the other, crawling closer and closer, her nose almost to mine…
…And then she landed underneath the heat lamp and drowsily collapsed into its warmth.
Not as intimidating as I thought.
Fascinatingly, the first (or, according to some scientists, possibly second) instance of parthenogenesis in komodo dragons happened at Chester Zoo! A female komodo dragon that had never had physical contact with a male dragon gave birth to a litter — fertilized by herself.
It happens in a few other species on occasion, but this was the first time in komodo dragons. Freaky, huh?
So I finally got to meet the dragons, and I never imagined it would be in England. Then again, I never imagined I’d cancel the end of my Asia trip to go to England.
Funny how that happens.
Looking to see wildlife around the world? Why not consider Jamaica holidays? From swimming with dolphins to gallavanting with macaws, there’s something for everyone on this Caribbean island!