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Drogo, Greensboro Science Center's 9-year-old Komodo dragon dies at 9

The GSC said animal care staff noticed Drogo was lethargic Wednesday, “positioning his body in an unusual manner and generally not acting like himself."

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Editor's note: The video above is from Nov. 17, 2017, when we met Drogo during the Greensboro's Science Center's 60-year celebration. 

The Greensboro Science Center announced Thursday it is mourning the loss of its beloved Komodo dragon, Drogo, who passed away overnight. Drogo was 9 years old.

The GSC said animal care staff noticed Drogo was lethargic Wednesday, “positioning his body in an unusual manner and generally not acting like himself.” As staff continued to monitor him, he threw up food and opened his mouth like he was trying to expel something, which led staff to believe there was a blockage in his digestive system, the GSC said.

By early afternoon, Drogo was unresponsive to audio and tactile stimulation, they said. The animal care team went into the exhibit, gave him anesthesia, and took him to the GSC’s Shearer Animal Hospital. A vet team drew blood, took x-rays and performed an endoscopic examination of his upper gastrointestinal tract, which revealed “no causative pathology,” the GSC said.

Drogo woke up from anesthesia and was taken back to his behind-the-scenes holding area around 4:30 p.m. to recover. He was conscious and responsive at that time, the GSC said. Around 7 p.m., staff reported that he was responsive to noise and mobile. Early Thursday morning, he was found deceased by members of the animal care team.

The cause of Drogo’s death is unknown. An animal autopsy, known as a necropsy, will be performed. It will be several weeks before the GSC receives final histological results from tissue samples, they said.

Credit: Greensboro Science Center
Drogo, 9, died at the Greensboro Science Center on April 6, 2022.

“Drogo has been a centerpiece of the Greensboro Science Center since his arrival in September of 2016,” said Jessica Hoffman, VP of Animal Care and Welfare. “Our dinosaur gallery renovation was designed around this magnificent species and we couldn’t have asked for a better representative. Drogo was an intelligent and outgoing individual who was loved by all who knew him, especially his dedicated care team.”

The GSC team said it is grateful for the public’s thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

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