Best Place to See a Dragon - 2012
Land of the Dragons at Phoenix Zoo
Allow us to nip your first question right in the bud: No, the pair of Komodo dragons currently residing at the Phoenix Zoo are not related to the winged serpent of legend in any way. Nor do they breathe fire, although their bite is considered to be quite toxic. Sadly, the only commonality (other than the whole scales thing) is that, as a protected species, the Komodo dragon possibly could wind up being just as invisible as the mythical beasties. There are about 50 in captivity around the globe, which is probably one of the reasons Valley residents have turned out in droves to catch a glimpse at the bulky Indonesian creatures, who measure around seven feet long and are considered the largest lizards in the world. Well, they usually only see Ivan, the male, who's more social and often is found sunning himself on a rock in his half of their habitat located along the Tropics Trail. Gaia, his sister, is more of a recluse, preferring to hang out in the shade of her sleeping area. And though Komodos can be vicious — and reportedly have feasted on humans — Ivan seemed relatively docile, merely gazing at us through the Plexiglas while calmly darting his tongue out. Then again, they might've been sizing us up for a potential snack.