While it is hard to deny that having one of these reptiles as a companion would be amazing. Komodo Dragons aren’t made to fulfill that role. Just like the vast majority of wild animals, their behavior and habitat make it so it’s not wise or safe to expect such an animal to become your next dog.
For decades, there has been an increasing tendency for people to acquire (although most of them are illegal) and keep fierce, exotic animals of the sort.
Resulting in numerous incidents that can only be blamed upon the lack of knowledge about said creatures and the neverending human will to tame everything despite it has been known for centuries that some animals are not meant to be under our mandate. That being said, let’s take a look at the main aspects of Komodo Dragons.
We hope it will both provide valuable information regarding the reptile species and serve as a big red sign for everyone thinking about becoming friends with one of them.
First things first, here’s some key information to understand Komodo Dragons as a whole, before diving into some key elements to advocate why keeping one of these Monitor lizards as a pet would be a bad idea.
These reptiles are endemic to Rinca, Flores, Gili Dasami, Gili Motang, and Komodo (from which they borrowed the name) four Indonesian islands. Through surprisingly advanced group hunting coordination and sheer power, they have become the apex predators of their ecosystems, given there are no lions or tigers living on those islands.
This should already be a tell when looking for a potential new pet as you wouldn’t think about gifting your daughter a lion cub. The Komodo Dragons can run up to 12 miles (20 kilometers) an hour, although they run out of steam relatively fast.
Expert Tip: As the heaviest lizards on earth, they are clearly carnivores. They feast on everything they can but have acquired a taste for Javan rusa an Indonesian species of deer. Besides that, they mostly feed on carrion.
Starting to sound like a questionable option, doesn’t it?
Moreover, their life isn’t quite as long as ours, so they won’t hesitate as much to hunt you down. Just kidding (partially). They have a lifespan of about 30 years, reaching their matureness after usually 9 years. From that point on. they can start counting down the days for the next September, as it’s their preferred month for laying eggs.
Up to 20 per year, although they have to be incubated for about 7 months until the offspring’s food (insects) is plentiful. Also, the little lizards will have to dwell on safe territory (such as trees) to avoid other Komodo Dragons and plenty of other predators from converting them into their next meal.
As aforementioned, the only place on earth where you could find this species in the wild would be Indonesia. Specifically, some of the country’s islands. Why is that? Mainly because it’s the habitat that better fits the animal and where it has survived for millions of years. It consists of dry, arid savannah zones and tropical forests.
Well, at this point we might as well give you a diploma on Komodo Dragons’ expertise. With all the gathered information, it is easier to jump on to the next step: Can you keep a Komodo Dragon as a pet?
Can you keep a Komodo Dragon as a pet?
Technically, no. Although you could, just as you can commit tax fraud or rob a bank. There will be consequences, though.
Dismissing their behavior and the risk of having a 150lb (70kg) beast on your lap for just a moment, the main reason it is illegal to keep one of these majestic lizards as a pet is that we’re talking about an endangered and protected species. This was listed by the ICUN or International Union for Conservation of Nature.
For many years, the number of Komodo Dragons in the wild has been in a state of constant decline, given the loss of habitat and food sources due to climate change and trophy hunting or poachers. As of 2019, there were about 5,700 specimens left in the wild.
Still, let’s come back to reality. We dismissed the dangers of the animal just for the sake of the example, but to be honest, they’re quite hard to ignore. If you were in a situation where an enormous, pretty fast lizard was running towards you with a rather angry expression, surely you wouldn’t feel like understating their jaws or claws.
Expert Tip: Frankly, Komodo Dragons are really dangerous. This is the principal reason that should prevent you from the urge of keeping one in your household. If legal reasons don’t seem to convince you, perhaps your safety or your loved ones’ will.
While this may come across as harsh, so would an unfortunate encounter with a beast that eats deers for breakfast. Perhaps the most notable characteristic of this specimen is, like mentioned before, its raw strength. It matches the looks of it, as you wouldn’t expect a 10-foot-long lizard to be any gentle with its prey.
Their jaws are designed to have no trouble when it comes to breaking bones. Appealing, huh? Well, that’s not all. Their teeth are sharp enough to tear through any meat and skin they encounter.
Plus, as if this wasn’t enough, they release a toxin that paralyzes and weakens their prey, making it so the hunt is always successful from the moment the saliva of the lizard has penetrated the prey’s blood. They aren’t exactly the most active species, so they usually wait until a suitable meal passes near, which is pretty much anything.
Then, they attack hoping for it to be a quick hit. When the deer, pig, smaller Komodo dragon, or piece of carrion looks tries to run away, the real hunt begins. And it is usually a win for our draconic friend. Both the serrated teeth and the venom cooperate in order to produce bloody wounds, as the latter lowers the blood pressure of the victim.
Combined with the fact that Komodo Dragons can smell blood from about 6 miles (9.5 kms) it results in a truly deadly and devastating combo. Nothing you want your kids to play catch with. Or yourself, for that matter.
On the other hand, it’s important to remind ourselves that a wild animal is well, wild. It is meant to be that way and we should not be surprised when it acts savage or fierce. Of course, there are levels or “layers” of tameable creatures. Surprisingly enough Komodo Dragons are not at the bottom of the list.
Some experienced zookeepers have managed to successfully train them to be pets in the head. Although it might look like an unimportant step, it truly is a big deal to prove these animals “recognize” people and don’t instantaneously become alert or aggressive.
Now even with this wholesome fact in mind, which brings us one step closer to a world where big lizards become friends, it is crucial to remember the previous facts on top of this one. Komodo Dragons are ruthless predators.
Do not keep one as a pet. It’s understandable how attractive some exotic species become when you think about them as you would think about a cat or a dog, but it can never work the same way.
In fact, some animals don’t even have the ability to establish a connection with a human, meaning it is virtually impossible for them to consider you anything above prey, danger, or simply irrelevant.
This is the main rule a lot of wild fauna follow. Is this particular being suitable to be my breakfast? Is it dangerous or threatening towards my little ones or me? Do I simply not care at all?
When dealing with beasts of this size and power, it’s better not to risk it. The only case where it would be acceptable for a human to approach a massive lizard-like these is if we’re talking about an expert that is familiar with the animal’s behavior and knows exactly how to react in each situation.
Even for them, it would not be a wise decision to keep one as a pet. Not for the expert nor the Komodo Dragon.
Do they attack people?
Do they attack people, though? Well, they sure can. A naked person opposes no threat when compared with the horsepower of the dragon. Although this might come as scary, it is unlikely that you ever find yourself in a position where you’re actually endangered by a member of this species.
Keep in mind they only live in Indonesia (and zoos/similar centers around the world), which makes it harder for a frightening encounter to occur.
Like many other animals (like boars), Komodo Dragons wouldn’t naturally see you as prey. They would really have no problem eating one average-sized human, but we’re not their usual three-course meal. This can change if they feel threatened. That’s when animals become dangerous.
They might even grow wings and start spitting fire if they see you as a potential predator for their hatchlings. Well, not really. They don’t need to.
How much does it cost to buy a Komodo dragon?
Being too fond of a thing or creature makes a person want to possess that certain thing. However, just like any other circumstances, we cannot always get what we want. The same goes for possessing Komodo dragons.
Expert Tip: Komodo dragons are not extinct and are one of those species that are protected by the government. Wanting to see and interact with this creature means going to a zoo or park where there are displays of Komodo dragons.
Selling and buying are prohibited but it is said to be available in the black market at a price of thirty thousand dollars. However, this won’t assure a safe transaction and interaction with the animal and this can cause a problem in the future as the government will not protect or give you permission to own. The worst thing is, if known, you can be imprisoned.
Can Komodo Dragons be tamed?
As individuals engage in having different pets, some just won’t get satisfied with the usual animals as pets. Some prefer the tiniest and easiest to pet while others prefer grooming massive, dangerous, and expensive pets.
Included in the lizard family, Komodo dragons are those species that have the same characteristics as lizards, although much bigger in size. It can be seen mostly in Indonesian countries.
Can Komodo dragons be tamed? It is possible to tame this animal however their living requirements are too demanding for humans to meet. With taming comes grooming and petting the creature. Having this interaction with humans can be hard to achieve.
Aside from it is not a usual pet in which you can ask anyone right away whenever you have trouble petting it, it can pose fear to the neighborhood. Moreover, it is illegal to remove this creature from their natural habitat so you can’t own one.
After the previous explanation, we profoundly hope to have erased every thought that would’ve driven you to illegally purchase a Komodo Dragon. It is just not worth it The side effects of it can vary from prison to death. It doesn’t look too appetizing, does it?
So far, we’ve learned that this species of lizards is an amazing piece of autochthonous fauna, as well as a group of remarkable predators.
While it remains an undeniable fact that they would be amazing to have as a pet, prove (and common sense) shows that it’s probably better to just shuffle between some different puppy breeds until you find one that suits your taste. Maybe a different reptile would make you feel better. A legal, much smaller, less dangerous one.
Exotic animal smuggling is no joke and no one should be tempted to cooperate with it no matter the reason. Wild animals are meant to live their lives in total freedom. Let’s not pretend that they can fit inside what we expect of a household pet. Things don’t work that way, and that’s okay.