Can You Have a Komodo Dragon as a Pet?



Reptile lovers always hunt for eccentric scaly beasts they can tame and keep at home. But what about the Komodo Dragon, the world’s largest and fiercest lizard? Is it possible to tame this magnificent animal and keep it as a pet?  

You can’t keep a Komodo Dragon as your pet. It’s an endangered species listed by the IUCN, making it illegal for anyone to own. Moreover, its large size and dangerous nature make it difficult to train and tame.

Let’s consider why you shouldn’t consider a Komodo Dragon as a pet.

Komodo dragon on the sand

Is It Possible to Own a Komodo Dragon as Your Pet?

While owning a Komodo Dragon and walking it down the street may seem exhilarating, it’s just not possible. It’s an endangered and protected species, making it illegal to keep one as a pet. 

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) lists Komodo Dragons as endangered

The Komodo National Park in Indonesia was specially founded to create a protected land for these monitor lizards in 1980. The park has been their native land since then. It’s illegal to remove them from it without approval from the government. 

Illegally keeping a Komodo Dragon as a pet would result in hefty penalties, including lengthy prison time, depending on your state laws. 

The Komodo Dragon population has rapidly dropped over the years due to habitat loss, tourism, climate change, loss of food sources, and poaching of the dragons themselves.

Now, approximately 1400 adults are expected to be left in the wild.

The species is internationally protected due to their low numbers and threat of extinction. So, people can’t possess private ownership of a Komodo Dragon anywhere in the world. 

5 Reasons Why Komodo Dragons Make Bad Pets 

You may feel adventurous thinking about keeping a large wild animal at home. However, these animals are unpredictable and never make good pets. 

There’s always a risk of them giving into their instincts and going feral. So, wild animals, in general, don’t make good pets. 

Here are five reasons why keeping a Komodo Dragon as your pet isn’t a good idea. 

Komodo dragon

1. They Are Enormous in Size

As the largest lizard alive, the Komodo Dragon can weigh more than 150 pounds with a length of 3 meters or 10 feet and above. 

Komodo Dragons are massive animals and require tons of space to live freely. Unless you own a forest in your backyard for your komodo to roam around, you probably should stick to domestic animals. 

Living in a confined space will become frustrating for the Komodo, which might result in it lashing out. 

2. Komodos Are High-Maintenance Animals

They need temperature-controlled enclosures that reach 96 degrees Fahrenheit and have 70% humidity. 

Additionally, they require at least a 250 square yards indoor enclosure to sleep and rest peacefully. 

The outdoor enclosure would need to be even bigger to allow them to roam freely. It should be at least 150 square feet. 

So, you would need a full zoo-like enclosure to own a Komodo Dragon, which isn’t easy to own. 

3. They Are Too Unpredictable to Be Tamed

Several zookeepers have successfully tamed Komodo Dragons to be petted on the head. However, messing around with this ginormous lizard is dangerous unless you’re appropriately trained. Making them feel threatened can cause them to attack or hurt you! 

So, unless you’re an expert in dealing with Komodo Dragons, you shouldn’t go near one for your safety! 

4. Komodo Dragons Can Be Difficult to Train 

Komodo Dragons are extremely difficult to train for the average person. It takes weeks of training and lots of dead rats and snakes to teach them a couple of basic commands. 

It’s nearly impossible for anyone other than a professional to train them.  

So, if you don’t want them raiding your kitchen or eating your lap dog, it’s better to steer clear of them.

5. These Are Dangerous Reptiles

With 150 pounds body weight and 60 sharp, serrated teeth, the Komodo Dragons are extremely dangerous animals that enjoy eating deer heads for breakfast! 

They bite into their victim’s flesh and rip out their flesh, leaving gaping wounds. 

Furthermore, their bites are full of venom, which can kill their prey in mere hours! Their toxic saliva prevents blood from clotting normally, causing their victims to bleed until they die. 

While humans are not typical prey for Komodo dragons, they still pose a serious threat to us. 

They have attacked humans in the wild and captivity a couple of times. However, they don’t attack humans unless they feel threatened or overwhelmed. 

As a result of their aggressive nature, visitors in the Komodo National Park are only allowed to explore with a ranger. 

Additionally, menstruating women aren’t allowed to enter the park as Komodos are attracted to even the tiniest hint of blood! They perceive the blood as prey, so they may attack.

Komodo dragon with mouth open

Final Thoughts Keeping A Komodo As A Pet

Komodo Dragons are majestic lizards, and keeping them as pets may seem highly appealing. 

However, they are incredibly high-maintenance and dangerous. So unless you want to break federal laws, open up a zoo at your house, and risk getting injured, you should lose any idea of owning one of these fearsome reptiles. 


Do Komodo Dragons Make Good Pets? 

Komodo Dragons are intimidating creatures that do not make good pets. Their large size and dangerous nature make them difficult to tame and train. Even after taming, there is always a risk for the massive lizard to go feral and attack its owners. Moreover, it is also illegal to keep them as pets.

Can a Komodo Dragon Kill Humans? 

Komodo Dragons can kill humans. They have killed a few humans in the past. However, they don’t usually hunt or attack humans unless they feel threatened. 

Are Komodo Dragons Playful? 

Surprisingly, Komodo Dragons are playful animals! Captive individuals have been seen playing with shoes, shovels, balls, and frisbees. 

Where Can You Buy a Komodo Dragon?

You can’t buy a Komodo Dragon anywhere in the world. The lizard is protected by international laws, making it illegal to own it privately worldwide.

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