Meet Perth Zoo’s ‘Luck Dragon’, a tiny Pebble Dragon baby who was saved from the illegal wildlife trade.
The youngster is the offspring of a mother who was bound for the black market but rescued by WA Parks and Wildlife in a wildlife seizure. Two days after arriving into the care of Perth Zoo, she laid eggs and Zoo staff incubated the eggs until the tiny Pebble Dragon hatched at just 0.41 grams.
Now tipping the scales at 1.75 grams, the Pebble Dragon baby is as big as a fifty cent piece, but much more valuable. This species are found in Western Australia’s arid zones. It has a round body that resembles a stone and relies on its camouflage to remain invisible to predators – sadly its mother was unable to remain hidden from wildlife smugglers.
Last financial year, Perth Zoo’s highly skilled wildlife veterinarians conducted 145 veterinary checks of confiscated reptiles on behalf of WA Parks and Wildlife and the Australian Customs Service. Sadly many of the animals, once found, are in such bad health they have to be euthanased to end their suffering.
Where possible, some are released to the wild, and for others, just like our new arrival, find a safe haven at Perth Zoo. It will play a vital role helping us educate the public about the hideous wildlife trafficking industry.
Danielle Henry, Media and Communications Manager, Perth Zoo