Work begins as three new species coming to local zoo
FOR about two and a half years Ian Jenkins and his team at Snakes Downunder Reptile Park and Zoo have been trying to secure a komodo dragon, and now the wait is nearly over.
With the exhibit construction now underway, Mr Jenkins said they were hoping to get a 10-year-old male komodo in March next year.
Making the long trip from a zoo in Prague, the komodo is set to arrive in Australia in December and undergo a 90-day quarantine.
Mr Jenkins said it was an exciting time at the park, but things would really ramp up once he is in the country.
Mr Jenkins said while reaching a decade, the komodo was an adult but not yet fully grown and considered to be quite the “stud”.
Throughout the past few years the import “wheels stopped turning” for the local zoo to acquire the large monitor lizard, which is why they turned their focus to getting the meerkats, but in the past two months have proved fruitful for them.
Mr Jenkins said while the komodo was an attraction for the park, they are also a critically endangered species, which is why they were looking forward to advocating and fundraising for the komodo’s cause.
The enclosure for the lizard is an extended version of a previous enclosure.
He said when it came to creating a home for the komodo, it had to be as large as possible and complex in order to keep the highly intelligent animals mentally stimulated.
Mr Jenkins said one can train a komodo dragon “ like a dog”, not to perform tricks, but to utilise its habitat and make for a safe working environment.
While the Komodo, who’s name is not yet known, is still a few months away from check-in, Mr Jenkins said they are expecting to get Matty the Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo before Christmas.
The rescue animal with impaired vision will be making its way to Childers from the Atherton Tablelands alongside keeper Maddy.
With dates set for the komodo and kangaroo, Mr Jenkins said they still don’t yet know when they were also getting a radiated tortoise, but they have been given the green light for the endangered species.
Snakes Downunder Reptile Park and Zoo is at 51 Lucketts Rd, Childers.
For more information visit www.snakesdownunder.com