Komodo dragon found dead at Surabaya zoo - (d)

Surabaya, E Java (ANTARA News) - A four-year-old male komodo dragon was found dead in its cage at the Surabaya Zoo on Monday morning.

The komodo was found dead at around 08.00 a.m. local time, when a zookeeper cleaned its cage, spokesman of the zoo Agus Supangkat said.

"For further information, please contact Mrs. Liang Kaspe (zoo veterinarian)," he said.

According to Mrs. Liang Kaspe, who is also the zoos operations director, the body organs of the komodo was normal based on the preliminary result of an autopsy conducted by the zoos team of veterinarians.

The komodo was relatively young, she said.

However, its oral cavity was red and a little phlegm was found on its lungs, she added.

"It is believed that the komodo died due to a respiratory infection," she noted.

The death of the komodo did not influence its population at the zoo, which currently is 73, including newly hatched komodos, she said.

In early April, a number of komodo dragons hatched 17 eggs.

Secretary of the Surabaya municipality Hendro Gunawan said his office has not received a permit from the forestry ministry to set up a conservation board at the zoo.

The local government was awaiting a reply from the ministry, he noted.(*)