On October 12, 2023, Murphy, a Komodo dragon at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, celebrated his 25th hatchday.
Murphy is one of the few Komodo dragons in the world who is trained to participate in his own healthcare, and he is a beloved ambassador for his species.
Murphy hatched on October 12, 1998, at Zoo Miami. He arrived at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute when he was just shy of 9 months old. He has been a resident of the Reptile Discovery Center ever since.
Murphy is a very special Komodo dragon. At the age of 25, he is considered geriatric for his species, but he is still doing well thanks to the excellent care he receives from his keepers.
He is calm and laid-back, and he enjoys interacting with his keepers despite his old age.
He is also very intelligent, and he has learned to participate in a variety of training exercises, including awake radiographs and blood draws.
Murphy’s training is important because it allows his keepers to monitor his health and provide him with the best possible care.
Komodo dragons are a vulnerable species, and Murphy is considered geriatric for his age. However, thanks to his training, he is able to receive the care he needs without having to be put under anesthesia.
“We are so grateful for Murphy’s participation in his own healthcare,” said Sara Hasenstab, a keeper at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. “It is a testament to his intelligence and trust in his keepers.“
Murphy’s training is also important because it helps to advance the care of other Komodo dragons and reptiles. The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is sharing its training methods with other zoos and conservation organizations around the world.
“We are very excited to be able to share what we have learned with others,” said Hasenstab. “We hope that our work will help to improve the quality of care for Komodo dragons and other reptiles everywhere.”
On his hatchday, Murphy enjoyed a special treat of eggs and meat. He also received birthday cards and decorations from his keepers and fans.
“We are so lucky to have Murphy as a member of our zoo family,” said Hasenstab. “He is a truly special animal, and we wish him a very happy hatchday!“
A Day in the Life of Murphy
Murphy’s day typically starts with a breakfast of eggs and meat. After breakfast, he enjoys basking in the sun or exploring his enclosure.
In the afternoon, he may participate in a training session or receive a medical checkup. In the evening, he enjoys a dinner of meat and bones.
Murphy is a very curious animal, and he enjoys learning new things.
His keepers are constantly coming up with new and innovative ways to enrich his environment and keep him entertained.
What Makes Komodo Dragons So Special
Komodo dragons are the largest lizards in the world. They are native to a few Indonesian islands, and they are an important part of the ecosystem.
Komodo dragons help to control populations of deer, pigs, and other animals.
However, Komodo dragons are a vulnerable species. They are threatened by habitat loss, rising sea levels, increased tourism, and poaching.
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is committed to protecting Komodo dragons.
The zoo supports research and conservation efforts in Indonesia, and it educates the public about the importance of these animals.
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is located in Washington, D.C., at 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW. Yes, you can visit it! The zoo is open 365 days a year from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
The zoo is free to enter, but a pass is required. You can also purchase an annual membership, which includes free parking and other benefits.
The zoo is home to over 2,000 animals from all over the world, including Komodo dragons, giant pandas, elephants, lions, and tigers.
There are also a variety of exhibits, including the Amazonian forest, the Great Barrier Reef, and the African savanna.
“Meet Our Komodo Dragon, Murphy“. Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute
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