Komodo Dragon among six reptiles killed in fire at the San Antonio Zoo

Komodo Dragon among six reptiles killed in fire at the San Antonio Zoo

Credit: Courtesy of the San Antonio Zoo.


by Jeff Anastasio & Karen Grace / KENS 5


Posted on December 17, 2013 at 9:26 AM

SAN ANTONIO -- Emergency crews responded to a fire at the San Antonio Zoo in the 3900 block of N St. Mary's Street Monday.

A zoo official confirmed a 15-year-old Komodo dragon as well as a snake and another lizard were killed in the fire. Firefighters had to quickly move dozens of reptiles including a 300 lb python, according to SAFD.

Around 100 reptiles were in the enclosure when the fire broke out.  A zoo official told KENS 5 reporter Jenny Suniga the Komodo dragon exhibit is expected to be closed for up to eight months.  The San Antonio Zoo is open despite Monday's fire.

There were no other reported injuries.

"If they die I'm really kind of sad," said 7-year-old Andrew Griffin, who was visiting the San Antonio Zoo the morning after a small fire claimed the lives of several reptiles.

"Scatha" a 15-year-old Komodo dragon and favorite at the zoo died from smoke in a reptile holding building Monday morning.

Marcie Sanchez was a huge fan and remembers when the zoo acquired the unique reptile.

"I just remember it was a big deal that we got the dragons," she said. "So wow...that's sad."

Altogether six reptiles died including two Amazon tree boas, two Solomon Skinks, and a Red Mountain Racer.

Another Komodo dragon, 20 year-old "Bubba" survived along with almost 100 other lizards and snakes.

Genie Wells, a volunteer at the Zoo was also devastated.

"I love reptiles," she said. "I have two Geckos myself."

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood says a heating device likely caused the fire and about $100,000 in damages.

"Its depressing," said Steve McCusker, San Antonio Zoo Director. "Everybody's got a lump in their stomach about it."

"I'm really sad about that," Sanchez said. "Because I come here all the time to look at lizards and dragons."