Pittsburgh Zoo's Komodo dragon dies
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An 18-year-old Komodo dragon and member of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium's reptile family for more than a decade has died.
Noname was 3 feet long, and weighed 24 pounds when he was brought to the zoo in 1997 from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. During his life in Pittsburgh, the animal grew to 9 feet long and weighed more than 230 pounds.
He died after emergency surgery to remove a partial obstruction in his large intestine that had caused him to behave lethargically and stop eating. Veterinarians also found fluid pockets in his abdomen.
Noname's mother was a gift from the Prince of Indonesia, where Komodo dragons are considered national treasures, to President Ronald Reagan in 1988. None existed in the U.S. at the time and Noname was among the second group of eggs hatched in the country.
Noname's upbringing in captivity made him relaxed and comfortable with handlers, which contrasts the naturally aggressive species that pack toxic bacteria in their bite.
The zoo said results from the final necropsy, or animal autopsy, will not be available for weeks.
First Published March 12, 2012 12:00 am