Komodo Dragon

Komodo dragon at Paignton Zoo, Devon

Class: Reptiles
Order: Squamata
Family: Varanidae
Paignton Zoo is one of just six UK zoos to house a Komodo dragon! Our female dragon, Khaleesi, arrived at the zoo in July 2018 from Barcelona Zoo. She lives in Crocodile Swamp.

Komodo dragons live in a variety of habitats but are generally found in tropical grassland and woodland. Komodo Island (where most wild dragons live) is very hilly and volcanic.

Hatchlings eat insects and small reptiles and as they grow, their food gets progressively larger. Adults are capable of bringing down animals as big as a buffalo.


Because they only live on a few small islands, Komodo dragons are threatened by habitat loss and human development. Komodo Island is a National Park and this allows the wild dragons some protection.

The species is classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. In captivity, Komodo dragons are managed by a studbook which aims to keep the zoo population healthy and diverse. They are one of the most well studied lizard species and many zoos contribute towards researching the dragons in the wild.