SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – Zoo keepers and employees at Zoo Miami are mourning the death of its oldest male Komodo dragon.
“Jack,” an approximately 24-year-old male Komodo dragon died at Zoo Miami Friday morning.
The official cause of death will not be determined until a variety of tests are completed which could take several weeks.
Though Jack had appeared to be a bit lethargic in recent days, there were no obvious signs that would indicate a clear cause of death, according to Zoo Communications and Media Relations Director Ron Magill.
Jack arrived at the zoo in June of 1995 along with a female named “Lubier” as part of an historic agreement between Zoo Miami (then Miami Metrozoo) and the Taman Safari Park in conjunction with the government of Indonesia.
Together, they were the first pair of Komodo dragons to go on public display in the state of Florida and in 1998 made history when they produced 28 eggs of which 27 hatched making it the largest clutch ever produced outside of Indonesia.
Komodo dragons are the largest, most powerful species of lizard on earth. Males reach a length of nearly 10 feet and a weight of close to 250 pounds.
Komodo dragons are classified as endangered animals. The total population of Komodo dragons is believed to be approximately 6,000.
They are found most commonly on the island of Komodo, which is one of the islands that make up the Republic of Indonesia.
Komodo dragons are a type of monitor lizard.
Jack and Lubier have left an important legacy through their offspring which can be found in zoo collections around the world.