Following months of negotiations, Belfast Zoological Gardens is happy to announce the arrival of a critically endangered dragon at Belfast Zoo.
Considered all but extinct, the flying reptile will be housed in a specially designed enclosure. His prey will be sourced from outside the zoo’s animal collection, where possible. An infant male, the dragon currently has a wing span of 10 feet, but when fully grown his skull alone will measure up to 23 feet.
“We’re thrilled to have such an exceptionally rare creature here at Belfast Zoo. This dragon is an important addition not only for us, but for Northern Ireland as a whole,” stated Mark Challis, zoo manager. “Despite their fearsome reputation and fabled ability to burn entire cities to ashes, we’d like to reassure the residents of Belfast that our keepers have received expert training and we’re looking forward to seeing him thrive in his new environment.”
The animatronic dragon, which is operated by two controllers, marks the culmination of an advertising campaign by Tourism Ireland and cable network HBO to promote Northern Ireland as the home of the show “Game of Thrones.”
Visitors to the zoo can expect to see a “dragon feeding time” and watch the chief vet give him a checkup. Other events have included three-eyed ravens like those used in the show perched on signs pointing the way to iconic locations where the series is filmed. Replica dragon eggs were also placed among fruit and vegetables in a market stall in St. George’s Market in Belfast, advertised as being for sale for the price of 125 Gold Dragons.
Source: Tourism Ireland