Lucky for us the dragon was in or rather out and about. The Komodo Dragon exhibit was the one I was most curious about and really wanted to see, the moment IÂ found outÂ that the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FloridaÂ had one of these creatures.
Lowry Park ZooÂ is one of the top zoosÂ in theÂ country with 56 acres of lush,Â natural habitats,Â over one million visitors annually and very proud to have been voted the # 1 kid friendly zoo by Parents Magazine.Â
So you may want to put this zoo on your travel itinerary, next time you take a vacation in Florida. I suggest you plan ahead which exhibits you'd like to visit most, because we spent all day and still didn't see all.
KOMODO DRAGON EXHIBIT
at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida
I never thought I'd seeÂ a real live Komodo Dragon, except on National Geoographic TV.Â According to the Smithsonian website, there are now 30 zoos around the world who canÂ claim that they have a habitat for aÂ Komodo Dragon (all from one dragon lady who hatched eggs back in 1992.)Â
Komodo DragonsÂ are the largest living lizard and are found only on a few Indonesian Islands. In fact, there was doubt they even existed untilÂ they were discoveredÂ around one hundred years ago.
OurÂ lizard here in TampaÂ isÂ a pretty good size,Â maybe seven feet - (males can get up to 1o feet).
The desertÂ habitat they created for him seems to suit him fine and it looked like he enjoyed the fine Florida winter day just as much as we did.
In this photo he is about 30 feet away
SinceÂ Mr. Dragon appeared to keep a lazy eye on me,
I was actuallyÂ gladÂ toÂ view him from a safe distance and from behind a solid glass enclosure,
because his saliva is poisonous.Â
Thanks to my 300mm zoom (max) I reeled him in from a safe distance.
Meanwhile - he's slowly moving on ...
and then it happened ...
I could only hope it would be a clear shot
until I saw it on my computer at home.
My lucky shot of the day
Forked tongue shooting out for just a second
... and just look at those claws.
I am glad he moved around and stuck out his tongue at me. You never know what you will come across or miss at the zoo. My friend looked for him on three different visits and he was always hiding.
AtÂ the end of the day, I scoredÂ a couple ofÂ cool shots of the Komodo DragonÂ with his eyes open and even better,Â two photos showing his forked tongue, not to mention the gross spit and foam at his mouth. But hey - that's why I came:)
Here is a link to the official website of the
Lowry Park ZooÂ - Tampa, Florida
and a link to see my postÂ
Rainbow LorikeetsÂ Aviary at the zoo
and I found an interestingÂ Komodo Dragon Fact Sheet
at the Smithsonian website
Thanks for looking and stay tuned for
The Meerkats Photos
coming up next.
Oh - and here is a link to the other,
more up-close and personal shot of his forked tongue - lookingÂ straight at me,
although somehow I didn't really appreciate
Â being fixated by a dragon.
All images copyright 2011 Â© Rose HillÂ