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Re: Dragon's Paradise Lost - re-planting KD's in Oz

On Fri, Oct 2nd, 2009 at 9:10 AM, Dann Pigdon <dannj@alphalink.com.au> wrote:

> On Thu, Oct 1st, 2009 at 11:31 PM, Augusto Haro <augustoharo@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Now, what if we just take some animals in danger of extinction and
> > raise them as pets (more useful for small or non-carnivorous critters)
> > instead of cats and dogs?
> Tamed Komodo monitors could actually make quite good pets. There's one at 
> Taronga Park Zoo 
> Sydney called Tuka who particularly likes a scratch around the ears from his 
> human keepers.
> He was captured wild in 1983, and spent about 10 years in an Indonesian zoo 
> before moving to 
> Sydney. Imagine how friendly a captive-born and hand-raised Komodo monitor 
> could become.
> http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/indepth/scales-never-lie-for-this-dragon/story-e6frewri-
> 1111114930090

Oops - it wasn't the current male Tuka I was thinking of, but their previous 
male Keith who died in 
1987 at the age of 40.  He was apparently a real sweety who loved having his 
eyelids stroked (he'd 
go into a kind of pleasure-induced trance). However the same trick is now used 
with Tuka as well, 
with much the same result.


"A 1963 newspaper photograph of the then Director of the Zoo, Sir Edward 
Hallstrom, shows him 
warily patting one of the lizards, but by the time I started at the zoo in 
1966, these same two 
Komodo Dragons were completely tame and enjoyed being scratched, particularly 
around their 
eyes and eyelids. (This is an effective calming trick and is still employed 
today with our one 
resident animal.)"


Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist                Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj