Jun 13, 2015 2:25 PM by News Staff
LOS ANGELES (AP) - It had been two decades since the rare lizard species had hatched from an egg in a North American zoo and survived.
But by Thursday, Los Angeles Zoo reptile curator Ian Recchio had three, month-old healthy Gray's monitor lizards.
The Los Angeles Daily News reports that Recchio says keeping the lizards alive has been a great mystery in lizard husbandry, stumping zookeepers across the globe.
The olive-green monitors are a relative of the Komodo dragon and among the largest lizards in the world, growing up to six feet long. They were considered extinct for more than a century, only to be discovered four decades ago in the trees of a Philippines forest.
The Gray's monitor is a shy carnivore with a picky diet of ripe fruit.
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