Las Vegas Strip welcomes Komodo dragon

June 23, 2008 9:15:43 AM PDT
A Komodo dragon has arrived on the Las Vegas Strip, where the endangered species normally are limited to cheap buffets, 99-cent shrimp cocktails and single-deck blackjack.The 87-pound, 7-foot-long endangered lizard went on display Friday at the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay casino. It comes from the Miami Metro Zoo.

About 75 Komodo dragons are in zoos and aquariums in the U.S. and Canada, according to Shark Reef officials. Some 3,000 to 5,000 Komodo dragons live in the wild in southeastern Indonesia.

Shark Reef curator Jack Jewell says Las Vegas' high rollers shouldn't expect special access to the lizard. A Komodo dragon has shark-like serrated teeth, and a bite can be deadly.