Zoo Knoxville: Komodo Dragon 'Khaleesi' dies

Zoo Knoxville announces the death of its Komodo Dragon "Khaleesi." / Source: Zoo Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Zoo Knoxville announced the death of its beloved Komodo Dragon, Khaleesi.

According to a release from the zoo, initial necropsy results pointed to an infection in the reproductive tract as the cause of death.

The zoo said Khaleesi was exhibiting signs that she was carrying eggs and was transported to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine for a CT scan on Friday.

The release said Khaleesi needed help recovering from anesthesia but seemed to be recovering on Saturday.

Officials said she was under close monitoring but was found dead on Monday morning.

The release from the zoo said the infection wasn't apparent on the CT scan.

“Khaleesi was an icon of the zoo,” said Phil Colclough, Director of Animal Care, Conservation and Education. “Despite being a ferocious-looking dragon, she was incredibly gentle, and was a powerful ambassador who inspired our guests to learn about reptiles and reptile conservation. Her intelligence and charisma were obvious and she was beloved by our zoo staff and guests alike. This is a painful loss for all of us.”

The Komodo Dragon was hatched in 2010 at the Los Angeles Zoo and was named after the iconic "Game of Thrones" character, Daenerys Targaryen. Khaleesi made her way to Zoo Knoxville in 2011.

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