San Antonio Zoo re-opens Komodo Dragon Exhibit

The Komodo Dragon Exhibit, one of the San Antonio Zoo's most loved exhibits, re-opened on Tuesday with the addition of a new Komodo dragon.

The new addition to the exhibit is Tiga, a 10-year-old female hatched from the Toronto Zoo.

The exhibit in question hit headlines in December 2013, when a fire damaged the two-story building, and smoke inhalation killed six reptiles including a 15-year-old female Komodo dragon named Scatha.

The other reptiles, kept on the second floor of the building, included a Red Mountain racer, two Amazon tree boas, and two Solomon skinks.

The San Antonio Fire Department helped save some of the reptiles, including Bubba, an adult male dragon from a first floor area, when a fire broke out in the exhibit. Fire department Chief Charles Hood and many firefighters yesterday joined zoo officials to welcome guests to the renovated exhibit.

Speaking on the occasion, Hood said, "In 28 years I've never been to a call where you had animals that died or perished in a fire. For us to come out here and see the place rebuilt with new fire protection systems in place; it's exciting; fire prevention extends to animals at the zoo."

Four months after Scatha's death, zoo workers discovered her four eggs her enclosure and incubated them. Of them survived. Curators named the baby Phoenix, a mythological bird that rose from the ashes of the fire that killed his mother.

Renovation of the exhibit cost nearly $130,000. Around $115,000 of the total cost was met by insurance, while the remaining amount of $15,000 was raised by the zoo.