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Australia’s Queensland Zoo’s Five-year-old Komodo Dragon ‘acts more like Dog than Land crocodile’

Kozzie, along with his seven brothers and sisters, was imported into Australia five years ago from a Los Angeles zoo

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Crocodile and a Turtle (Representational Image), Flickr

Sydney, Nov 1, 2016 : A five-year-old Komodo Dragon in Australia’s Queensland zoo has been described to be more like a puppy dog than a man-eating land crocodile, media reported.

Port Douglas-based Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures zoo operations manager Michael O’Brien told Xinhua news agency that the 1.9 metre long reptile named Kozzie was an intelligent lizard that genuinely took interest in its surroundings and was not a threat to humans.

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When we work in his enclosure he tries to climb on you and that is very un-reptile like,” O’Brien said.

“He seeks out human attention,” he added.

O’Brien believes that the daily contact that Kozzie has with the zoo keepers has made it impossible for him to look at humans as food.

“It’s very pretty rare occurrence for Komodo’s (to eat humans) as their diet includes goats and water buffaloes,” O’Brien said.

“Kozzie has never bitten anyone and has acclimatised being around people.”

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“He recognised that his food is rats, beef, chicken and not its keepers that he wants to make a meal of, which is good,” he said.

Kozzie, along with his seven brothers and sisters, was imported into Australia five years ago from a Los Angeles zoo.

“We have had Kozzie for three years and we are planning a premium product in the next few weeks which will allow the public to interact with him,” he said, adding that the new attraction will be opened to children above 10 years of age.

Komodo dragons which are native to Indonesia are capable of reaching lengths of up to 3.1 metres.

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The reptiles are protected under Indonesian law with the government setting up the Komodo National Park in 1980 to protect the animal from extinction.

Also known as land crocodiles, these carnivores are known to live till about 60 years.

O’Brien said although Kozzie seemed friendly towards his keepers, they were aware that he was still a reptile that could attack and always had their guard up in case of an unwanted situation. (IANS)

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Due to Increase in Temperature, Risk of Crocodile Attacks can Increase

The spread of the population would mean the reptiles will come across with people who have never come into contact

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Crocodile, Attacks, Global Warming
As temperatures rise, crocodiles will move into areas that they never previously inhabited. Pixabay

The number of crocodile attacks could rise due to global warming, an Australian expert said on Sunday.

Adam Britton, a zoologist from the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods (RIEL) at Charles Darwin University (CDU) in the Northern Territory (NT),said that as temperatures rise, crocodiles will move into areas that they never previously inhabited, reports Xinhua news agency.

He said that the spread of the population would mean the reptiles will come across with people who have never come into contact with the reptiles before.

“As the planet warms, it does mean crocodile attacks are going to go up as a direct result, because as it warms, it’s going to change the distribution of crocodiles,” Britton said.

Crocodile, Attacks, Global Warming
The number of crocodile attacks could rise due to global warming. Pixabay

“We’re seeing in Indonesia, crocodiles move into places that they haven’t been seen for a long time or seen before and we’re getting a string of attacks.

“Crocodiles will move after loss of habitat and move into areas where people aren’t used to them,” he added.

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According to Britton, there have already been sightings of crocodiles in populated areas of northern Queensland where they have been rarely spotted. (IANS)