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San Antonio Zoo announces death of Bubba the Komodo dragon

He had been at the zoo since 1997, having interacted with "millions of guests" since then.
Credit: San Antonio Zoo

SAN ANTONIO — A Komodo dragon who entertained and educated visitors to the San Antonio Zoo for 25 years has died. 

The zoo posted on Facebook Tuesday evening that Bubba was 28 years old, making him "one of the oldest dragons in human care." A cause of death wasn't specified, but the post also says Bubba was the first exotic animal to receive a new treatment for joint inflammation. 

"Bubba captivated the hearts of both staff and guests with his demeanor and personality," zoo officials said about the 175-pound, eight-and-a-half-feet-long creature. "(He brought) millions of guests closer to Komodo dragons than they could have ever imagined." 

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the loss of Bubba, one of our beloved Komodo dragons. At the age of 28 years...

Posted by San Antonio Zoo on Tuesday, July 5, 2022

The International Union for Conservation of Nature last fall listed the Komodo as an endangered species, citing the effects of climate change and "significant habitat loss due to ongoing human activities."

According to the San Antonio Zoo's post, fewer than 6,000 Komodo dragons are believed to be alive today, though Bubba has hatched "more than a dozen offspring" during his time at the zoo. 

"Bubba will be missed by all of his caretakers and guests at the zoo," the post added. 


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