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Zoo Boise, a division of Boise Parks and Recreation, is sad to announce the passing of Draco, the zoo’s 23-year-old male Komodo dragon.

At 23, Draco was an aging animal. The average lifespan of Komodo dragons in captivity is 20 to 30 years of age.

“Draco was an important part of the Zoo Boise family, and we will miss him,” said Zoo Boise Executive Director Gene Peacock.

Draco’s health declined over the last several months despite attentive care from Zoo Boise staff. The zoo’s animal health team monitored him closely, performing routine diagnostics and implementing a treatment plan based upon their findings, which included several age-related health issues. Additional testing is underway to determine the exact cause of death, although initial reports show the presence of liver disease.

“The staff at Zoo Boise take incredible care of our animals and always do everything they can to keep them healthy and thriving,” said Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway. “Draco lived a long life and helped educate the public about Komodo dragons, along with promoting the importance of Zoo Boise’s conservation mission.”

Draco hatched at Zoo Miami in 1998 and joined Zoo Boise in 2000. He was a part of the Komodo Dragon Species Survival Plan, a conservation program by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).

Zoo Boise has turned the act of visiting the zoo into a conservation action. Since 2007, visits to Zoo Boise have generated more than $3 million towards the conservation of animals in the wild, redefining why we have a zoo. Zoo Boise is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, a national organization that supports excellence in animal care, conservation, education, and science.