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John Ball Zoo's Komodo dragon dies | News

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John Ball Zoo's Komodo dragon dies
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Precious, the Komodo dragon at the John Ball Zoo, has died.

Zoo officials released the news Wednesday morning that Precious died in his sleep Monday morning. Preliminary exams show the reptile died of natural causes.

Precious came to John Ball Zoo in Dec. 2003 from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

According to the zoo, President Ronald Reagan was presented with a pair of Komodo dragons from Indonesia during a visit to Bali in 1986. Those dragons stayed at the National Zoo and produced 13 eggs, which were the first Komodo dragons that hatched in the western hemisphere. Precious was the smallest of the first clutch.

Komodo dragons are considered the most intelligent reptiles. Zoo officials said that Precious responded positively to a variety of behavioral enrichment and regularly participated in training program with his keepers, even though Komodo dragons are skilled predators. They are highly endangered and only exist on Komodo Island and a few other small islands in Indonesia.

There are no immediate plans to replace Precious.


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