For the first time in zoo history, Komodo Dragons will be on exhibit at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden. These highly anticipated new residents will receive a warm welcome from Mayor Lloyd Winnecke and be introduced at a press conference on Friday, October 18, at 1:30pm in the Kley Building at the Zoo.

Many steps have been taken to make the “Komodo Cove” exhibit as safe and comfortable as possible for the Komodo Dragon, the largest of the reptile species. A variety of plants, including palms and cyads are included to not only improve air quality, but also simulate their natural island habitat. The large rocks in the exhibit are constructed with radiant heat coils to allow body temperature regulation. The skylights in the exhibit allow UV transmission for proper synthesis of Vitamin D, which is essential for the health of the lizard. The Komodo Dragon is a vulnerable species with approximately 4,000 to 5,000 living in the wild on the islands of Komodo, Gila Motang, Rinca, and Flores.

Komodo Cove will open to the public during Boo at the Zoo, which kicks off on Friday, October 18, and runs Friday - Sunday on two consecutive weekends. Tickets are still available for this family-friendly event and can be purchased online or at the front gate of the zoo.

Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden is open 365 days a year from 9am-5pm, with last admission at 4pm. Admission is $18.50 for adults and $5.50 for children ages 3 to 12. Children under age 2 and under are free. In recognition of their support, Vanderburgh County residents receive $1 discount.

(Mesker Park Zoo/Facebook)