Komodo dragon dies in San Antonio Zoo fire

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Associated Press

Posted on December 17, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 17 at 9:34 AM

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Authorities say a Komodo dragon and five other reptiles have died in a fire at the city zoo.

San Antonio Zoo officials say an employee smelled smoke around 6 a.m. Monday near the reptile area. Officials found that a 15-year-old Komodo dragon named Scatha had died.

Another Komodo dragon — a 20-year-old male named Bubba — and dozens of other animals were safely evacuated from the smoke.

According to National Geographic, Komodo dragons can grow to 10 feet long and more than 300 pounds, making them the heaviest known lizards. They are considered an endangered species.

Officials say the cause of the fire has not been determined but suspect that it may be related to a heating device. Zoo director Steve McCusker says the fire caused about $100,000 in damage.

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