There’s a rare opportunity to see a pair of powerful, fascinating and dangerous creatures in Saskatoon.
Komodo dragons Thorn and Shruikan are temporarily calling the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo home.
The brothers, almost three and a half years old, will be on loan from the Calgary Zoo for the next year.
“Everyone has to keep coming back. They’re going to get bigger and bigger and it’s incredible to watch them grow,” said Tim Sinclair-Smith, the manager of Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo.
“These guys will get to 10 feet long. Currently they’re six feet long. They’ll get over 30 percent bigger. We’ll see them up around that range before they leave.”
Media were given a sneak peek of the animals on Wednesday in their brand new Komodo Island exhibit.
Sinclair-Smith said people shouldn’t expect to see staff getting too close to the venomous animals.
The exhibit has been designed to ensure no one has to be inside with the Komodo dragons at any time.
“What you’ve got is a massive animal with huge jaw pressure,” Sinclair-Smith noted.
As for managing the brothers’ behaviour, particularly when it comes to sibling spats, Sinclair-Smith said staff will be watching closely.
“What we have here is a positive reinforcement training program,” he said. “We’ve actually got them trained thanks to the team at Calgary to have them ready for us – we can actually target them into (their) crates.”
The allure of food usually works best in those situations. The Komodo dragon’s diet consists of fish, rabbit, chicken and horse meat.
The exhibit officially opens to the public on April 1.