3rd Komodo dragon dies at Surabaya Zoo

3rd Komodo dragon dies at Surabaya Zoo
A different Komodo dragon died on June 2 at the Indonesian zoo infamous for hundreds of animal deaths in recent years, an official said. It was the second of the creatures - which are the world's largest living lizards and have a venomous bite - to die this year at Surabaya Zoo, Indonesia's largest, on the main island of Java.

Another male Komodo dragon at the Surabaya Zoo was found dead in its enclosure on Thursday morning.

The cause of death of the large 11-year-old reptile was allegedly due to digestive complications. It is the third Komodo dragon to perish at the zoo this year, following the deaths of two other dragons in February and June.

"Results from the autopsy show that its digestive system was damaged and was not functioning properly, with visible red marks present on its intestinal walls," Surabaya Zoo Provincial Enterprise (PDTS) operational director Dr. Liang Kaspe said on Thursday as quoted by kompas.com.

Dr. Liang refused to elaborate further on whether or not the animal's intestinal damage had been caused by improper feeding, saying that the cause of death could only be determined after the conclusion of laboratory tests in one month's time.

"We don't know the exact cause of death. What's clear, however, is that the Komodo dragon's last meal is being tested in the laboratory," she added.

According to a statement by the dragon's keeper, the Komodo dragon had ignored its food on Tuesday, since when it had not eaten anything.

Dr. Liang denied that the dragon's death was caused by food given it by visitors to the zoo, as the Komodo's diet consisted mainly of meat, while the zoo's visitors are only gave peanuts to the animals.

Surabaya Zoo has become known as the "zoo of death" by critics, with widespread neglect being blamed for the deaths of hundreds of animals, including orangutans, a tiger and a giraffe.

The crisis prompted the Surabaya city administration to assume the management of the zoo. However, despite the change in management, animal deaths have continued unabated, eliciting calls from animal welfare groups for the zoo's closure.

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