Gray’s monitor lizards had long been considered extinct in the wild until some were discovered in 1975 on islands in the Philippines.
The species is considered one of the largest lizards in Asia, as the reptiles can grow to be 6 feet long and 20 pounds. The tree-dwelling, olive-green lizards usually dine on fruit and invertebrates.
The zoo’s reptile and amphibian curator, Ian Recchio, said his staff used their knowledge of other Asian monitor species and Komodo dragons to hatch the Gray’s monitor eggs.
“We were optimistic about the outcome as we watched the eggs develop, and when the first baby hatched to our surprise, it appeared strong and perfectly developed,” he said.
“We have had clutches of eggs in the past, but this has been the healthiest fertile clutch,” Recchio said.
The baby monitors are being cared for at a holding facility outside the zoo. Another clutch is now incubating are expected to hatch in July.
The zoo’s adult Gray’s monitor lizards can be viewed daily at the Living Amphibians, Invertebrates and Reptiles (The LAIR) exhibit.
— City News Service
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