Murphy, a Komodo dragon at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, celebrated his 25th hatchday on October 12, 2023. He is one of the few Komodo dragons in the world who is trained to participate in his own healthcare.
Komodo dragons are native to Indonesia and are not found in the wild in Florida nor anywhere in the United States. There are invasive species of monitor lizards in Florida that are sometimes mistaken for Komodo dragons.
Komodo dragon venom contains a cocktail of toxins that can cause a variety of devastating effects in prey animals, including excessive bleeding, muscle weakness and paralysis, and respiratory failure. The venom works quickly and efficiently, and can kill prey in minutes.