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Home > Reptiles > Can Komodo Dragons Be Kept as Pets? Legal & Ethical Considerations

Can Komodo Dragons Be Kept as Pets? Legal & Ethical Considerations

komodo dragon

We do not endorse the owning of wild animals. All information included in this article is for informative purposes only.

There’s little doubt that Komodo Dragons are cool-looking creatures. They are massive and have a fearsome appearance that is awesome to behold.

When you see such a fantastic-looking creature, it’s only natural to question if you can keep one as a pet. But there are plenty of things that should stop you from bringing one home. Not only is it completely illegal, but Komodo Dragons are also hard to care for and dangerous.

What else do you need to know about the pitfalls of trying to own a Komodo Dragon? We break it all down for you here.


Is It Legal to Own a Komodo Dragon?

Since Komodo Dragons are an endangered species, it’s currently illegal to own one. However, even if it was legal to own a Komodo Dragon, there are plenty of reasons that you should be wary of doing so.

Since it doesn’t seem like the Komodo Dragon is coming off the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List any time soon, you can rest assured that it’s going to remain illegal to own one for quite a while.

komodo dragon on sand
Image by: Skala73, Pixabay

How Big Are Komodo Dragons?

While a baby Komodo Dragon might only weigh 3.5 ounces and be 16 inches in length, they don’t stay this cute and adorable for long. An adult Komodo Dragon can reach more than 10 feet in length and weigh more than 150 pounds!

When you take into account their massive size, it’s not hard to see why caring for one could be a little problematic.

How Much Space Does a Komodo Dragon Need?

Komodo Dragons are massive, and they need tons of space to be happy. First, they need a temperature-controlled enclosure that reaches 95 degrees Fahrenheit and has 70% humidity.

Due to their size, this enclosure should be around 250 square feet! But that’s just the indoor enclosure. Komodo Dragons also need space to roam, so an outdoor enclosure that’s around 150 square feet is required!

Owning your own Komodo Dragon would require a full zoo-like enclosure, and that’s no easy task for most at-home caretakers.

Are Komodo Dragons Friendly to Humans?

While Komodo Dragons aren’t typically aggressive toward humans, it’s still best to keep your distance from them, even if attacks are rare.

This would be another huge concern if you owned a Komodo Dragon. Even if you had an adequate enclosure for them, you couldn’t safely hang out with them in any capacity.

komodo dragon outdoors
Image by: TLSPAMG, Pixabay

Are Komodo Dragons Venomous?

Yes, Komodo Dragons have venomous bites. This venom is potent enough to kill a human in several hours, and most hospitals in the United States and other countries won’t have the necessary anti-venom.

This would be a huge concern if you were to bring a Komodo Dragon to your home and try to care for them.

What Do Komodo Dragons Eat?

Komodo Dragons are opportunistic feeders, and they’ll take down just about anything around when they’re hungry. In the wild, Komodo Dragons typically eat goats, deer, pigs, and the occasional horse and water buffalo.

In zoos, caretakers feed Komodo Dragons a mix of insects, mice, rats, rabbits, and other carnivorous foods. They eat a ton of food too — a single Komodo Dragon can eat about 80% of their body weight in a single day!

That said, adult Komodo Dragons only need about one meal a month to survive. But for an adult Komodo Dragon that weighs 150 pounds, that’s still 120 pounds of food a month!



While Komodo Dragons are awesome-looking and fearsome creatures, they’re better left in the wild and in zoos. Not only are they endangered, but they’re also incredibly hard to care for — and they can be extremely dangerous!

So, keep admiring the Komodo Dragon from afar, and don’t bring one into your home!

See also:

Featured Image Credit: janwinkler, Pixabay

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