Monday, August 26, 2013

Get to Know the Zoo's New Komodo Dragon!

Gotta say, I love Komodo Dragons!  I look forward to meeting our new Boy Falcor!

My two top goals when I visited the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, was to see their Komodo Dragon and their White Alligator Antoine LeBlanc, who I visited when he came to stay at SFZoo for awhile :) I got to see both!

Komodo's are awesome and adorable!  
Look at this one smiling :)

I first heard the Zoo was getting a Komodo Dragon when the aftermath details of this years ZooFest were in the News.  Part of that news was of course, the renaming of this Animal.  You all know how I feel about the Zoo renaming Animals who already have a Name.  If you don't, please search this blog for "naming", I have written about it many times.

So, yes its true, the Zoo has yet again renamed an Animal that already has a name.  Why is the Zoo hell bent on stripping every animal of its given Name?

It is my interest to know as much as possible about the Zoo Animals as individuals.  That said, I share with you what I have learned about the new Komodo Dragon!  

His name is Falcor :)  He was the Memphis Zoo's first Komodo Dragon born, after a decade of trying! In fact out of eight Eggs layed by his Mother Norberta, only one was fertile.  Little Falcor hatched October 8, 2011.    You can read about his birth and see his babie photo in this local news article:
http://www.localmemphis.com/news/local/story/Memphis-Zoo-Welcomes-First-Baby-Komodo-Dragon/HDS7BOeg7060-bQRfX0vfA.cspx
AND see more adorable photos from zooborns site:
http://www.zooborns.com/zooborns/2011/12/komodo-kool-baby-lizard-hatched-in-memphis.html

One of my main issues about renaming is not only is it cruel and disrespectful, regardless of what the Zoo might tell you, these Animals know their names.  They have personalities, that are as much a part of their individual identity as their Name.  I corresponded with someone at the Memphis Zoo who said, "The Komodo Dragons know and respond to their names."   ... Sadly this Animal who has had the name Falcor for near two years, and knows his Name, will now be called by another name, although not by me.   I can't wait to hear what crap the Donor came up with, I'm sure it will be a doozy!   

Now, for my opinion on the enclosure.  Pictured below, from what I've seen, I don't like it.  My preliminary observation over the past several weeks of seeing the building progress is, its too small and more of an issue, it seems there is no outdoor area, so he will be kept inside all the time (in the dark)? Most Komodo enclosures I've seen are outdoor landscaped areas.   ... Member viewing is Thursday, so we'll see. 


10 comments:

  1. Hey, Omaha Zoo acquired one of these as well! I was really enthused to see one up close.

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    1. @Michael Groob- Thank you for your comment! Once again, apologies for not being more prompt with replies. Limited time and I get behind, but as always, comments are much appreciated! ... That's cool! Is it a juvenile as well? What kind of habitat do they have for it?

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  2. I was surprised to read that komodo dragons are able to remember their names! The naming of new animals is probably to make money, because some people are willing to pay big bucks for the naming rights. Yet I'm sure that there are other ways to fundraise, thinking about your post on painted sculptures, maybe the zoo could have limited edition komodo dragon figurines or other komodo dragon themed merchandise to sell (but maybe that's what the carnival thing is for). On the other hand the enclosure for the komodo dragon will be more than adequate as of now, but when he grows up the space needed will be much larger. I used an area calculator that works with google maps and the building itself cannot be more than 1000 sq ft...barely ample for an adult dragon. Well, hope Falcor does well to adjust to his new home!

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    1. @ellicruu- Thank you for your comment! Once again, apologies for not being more prompt with replies. Limited time and I get behind, but as always, comments are much appreciated! ... I made sure to ask the Zoo he came from about the recognition thing, so that I had firm information. I personally think all Animals have the ability to recognize "names" which I put in quotes because if you repeated even one same word that would have the same related result. Since I didn't know for sure about Komodo's in general or this one in particular, I checked before posting. ... YES! definitely for money, but YES again there can be other ways to fund that. In other naming posts I give some ideas about this. One of the issues I think in using this as the go to for quick funds, is that there is no creativity (although we are now going to see how the Gorilla naming "contest" goes). Hand in hand with the lack of creativity, is the way the naming is presented to Donors, by Director Peterson. Donors should know this Animal already has a name, so "sponsoring" it in my opinion, should be what the auction is about. And yes, making and selling items individual to the Animals is another way to support their care. ... The size of the enclosure was not my initial issue, because as you pointed out, in regard to his size now (which is supposed to be around 2 ft.) this is fine for now (although if spending money on making an enclosure it should allow for growth). My issue was that he doesn't have an outside area, so it appears he will be inside with no daylight. I did ask someone yesterday and they said that eventually as he grows he will have an outdoor space, which was good to hear. ... Cool that you were able to calculate the size without seeing it! Although I have always got the impression that you were a regular Visitor as you seem to know a lot about the Zoo and individual Animals. If you have been there, it is in the area that used to House the Lorikeets years ago, Binowee Landing. The outdoor fly area houses the Ground Hornbills, and the entrance shack is where Falcor's habitat will be.

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    2. Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to go to the zoo recently, but I understand your concerns (a major reason reason in following your post). About your comment on an outdoor space for Falcor, I believe that it would be nice, but for a reptile, may not be as necessary, maybe a small-ish outside yard will do. Komodo dragons live in tropical hot and humid climates so a large spacious indoor area is more important. Why I say this is because our climate here isn't as representative of the habitat, especially for reptiles, which must bask. But yes, by the looks and size of the enclosure, it will need the extra outdoor space to accomodate Falcor when he isn't so small anymore.

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    3. @ellicruu- You are right about the climate, admittedly I hadn't thought of that. That said, maybe fully glass enclosed outdoor habitat would work so the temperature can be controlled? I was also thinking if there was a sky roof at least on this structure so some natural light got in. It just seems like its going to be either dark or artificial lighting only. We'll see, I'm going to go tomorrow and hopefully he will be on view, otherwise I'll see him on Monday :) .. Thankx again for the comments!

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  3. Maybe the doors lead to an outside area? But right now, from the outside it is sort of styled like another refreshment stand!
    Joanne

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    1. @Joanne - Thank you for your comment. Once again, apologies for not being more prompt with replies. Limited time and I get behind, but as always, comments are much appreciated! ... The only outside area that is attached and enclosed is a free flight area where the Ground Hornbills live. Maybe the intention in the future is to relocate them :( and create an outdoor area for Falcor. That said, I forgot to note in my post that there is in my opinion a bunch of wasted space in front, where it seems an outdoor area could have been built, even a small one for the time being? ... Speaking of refreshment stands, that Tiki Hut they built at the Primate Center has more room than this Animals habitat.

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  4. Lee "a tigers best friend"August 27, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    I just have the same issues about the naming as you do. I love Komodos too, they are cool. My main concern is that I hope they have a professional Herpatology expert watching over him. I don't think any of the employees at the zoo know much in this regards. Gosh, I love his name!!! Welcome new guy, I will come visit you soon.

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    1. @Lee - Thank you for your comment. Once again, apologies for not being more prompt with replies. Limited time and I get behind, but as always, comments are much appreciated! ... I have not heard definitely who the Keeper is, but have heard rumors. They have had small reptiles in the ARC and Oliver the Anaconda, so hopefully someone who has been responsible for Reptiles is in charge of this little guy :) .. I too love his name!

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