DNA testing reveals Chattanooga Zoo’s Komodo dragon produced offspring on her own

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Who needs a mate? Certainly not a female Komodo dragon at a Tennessee zoo.

According to a news release from the Chattanooga Zoo, the female produced three offspring without the assistance of a male, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

The three hatchlings were born at the zoo to Charlie on Aug. 4, 2019, the newspaper reported. DNA testing showed the first-time mother had not produced the eggs with the help of male dragon Kadal. Instead, Charlie reproduced through parthenogenesis, the newspaper reported.

Parthenogenesis is a process where a female can produce offspring without male fertilization, the News Free Press reported.

Charlie and Kadal were paired together, but as it turned out, Charlie did not need any help.

“Although Kadal and Charlie were placed together in the hopes of breeding, the Chattanooga Zoo staff is very excited to witness this monumental work of nature and be part of such an important conservation program,” zoo officials said in a news release.