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Animal care team using stethoscope to monitor Sheldon's heart rate

A stethoscope was used to monitor Sheldon’s heart rate throughout the procedure.

Sheldon, a 10-year-old Komodo dragon who recently arrived from St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, underwent a checkup last week and passed with flying colors! Nearly a dozen animal care professionals participated in the exam, which was overseen by a veterinarian and two curators.

We examined Sheldon’s body condition, drew blood, captured X-ray images and used a sonogram machine to view his internal organs.


Sheldon, a komodo dragon

Sheldon is a beauty of a beast.

Sheldon measured 7’2” long and weighed just over 100 pounds. Though it’s hard to imagine a bigger lizard, he may still have some growing to do; the largest known Komodo dragon reached 10 feet and 366 pounds!

Sheldon is living behind the scenes for now. This summer, he’ll join four-year-old female Sha-Sha in Lands of Change: Australia and Beyond. We hope to see breeding behaviors and, eventually, baby dragons. Sha-Sha’s sister Elsa will move to another accredited facility.

Komodo dragons, the world’s largest lizards, can be found on five Indonesian islands. Habitat loss, human hunting and depletion of food sources all pose threats to this species, which is considered vulnerable to extinction.