A zookeeper from the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium from Omaha was bitten yesterday by a Komodo dragon, one of the most dangerous reptiles in the world. Luckily for woman, she has received the proper medical attention shortly after the incident and therefore, the doctors expect that she will make a full recovery.
In order to understand the extent of the danger that the zookeeper was in, you need to know a few things about the Komodo dragon. As its name suggests, the large reptile has a dragon-like appearance, with hard strong scales all over its body an piercing eyes. It is the largest existing lizard and it has a robust manner about it and quite an extensive set of deadly weapons up its sleeves.
It can grow to be up to 100 feet long and weigh as much as 300 pounds, so a Komodo dragon is a worthy enemy. It can make swift sprints to catch its prey, reaching 11 mph extremely rapidly.
It is a carnivorous reptile, to say the least, and it can even feed on humans. Its tactics for catching its prey are particularly interesting, as it initially uses its sharp claws and its strong teeth to grab and bite their prey, but every so often it happens that the animal that fights the Komodo dragon manages to escape its claws.
Then the really gruesome part begins, as Komodo dragon saliva can inoculate its prey with over 50 strains of deadly bacteria. Then, the patient lizard follows its prey, as it starts to become affected by the massive bacterial attack. They usually die within a short period of time due to systemic infection, because the bacteria spreads incredibly fast through the bloodstream.
When the prey has been struck down, then the Komodo dragon comes in and feeds on it, as it is also a scavenger. It can take enormous meals, that can amount to up to 80% of its weight.
The female worker from the Omaha zoo was extremely lucky because the the Komodo dragon that bit her while she was conducting her regular activities, was a juvenile individual. The two-and-a-half-year-old lizard weighs only 10 pounds and is only 3,5 feet long, so the wound the the woman suffered was not extremely extensive, and could be easily stitched up at the hospital.
Furthermore, the fact that she could be immediately administered a entire cocktail of antibiotics, that can cover all the possible bacterial species that the Komodo dragon could have inoculated her with, is the most important part of the woman’s treatment. Without the swift administration of the antibiotics, her state would have been exponentially more critical.
Most likely, the medical professionals will require saliva samples from the Komodo dragon, so as to further test for possible bacteria that the woman could have been infected with. This will be corroborated by a wide range of tests that will be conducted on the woman, as she will be closely monitored for the following period.
There was talk of the reptile being euthanized, as a result of this incident, but the Omaha zoo officials pointed out that a Komodo dragon is a dangerous animal by nature and that such incidents, however regretful, are to be expected in a zoo and that therefore, the reptile will remain in its enclosure from here on.
Gladly, there are no grave consequences to this incident and the woman can soon pride herself for having been bitten by one of the deadliest and most dangerous animals in the world and managing to live on to tell the story.
Image Source: cincinnatizoo.org