LOS ANGELES (AP) — Twenty-two Komodo dragons have hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo.

The zoo’s adult female Komodo laid the eggs in January and they hatched earlier this month. It’s a small but encouraging boost to the endangered species’ population that numbers only 2,500 in the wild.

Komodos, the world’s largest lizards, are cannibalistic and usually eat their young and eggs of their own species, so zoo officials say staying alive is tricky for a hatchling.

Los Angeles is one of the few zoos in North America to have successfully bred Komodos. The curator says 11 babies will eventually go to the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo and the others will go to zoos assigned by the Species Survival Program.
Hatchlings are 14 to 20 inches long and weigh around 3 ounces. They will grow to about 9 feet and weigh 200 pounds or more.

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