Updated: 06/02/2014 19:13 | By Agence France-Presse

Second Komodo dragon dies at Indonesian 'death zoo'

A Komodo dragon died Monday at an Indonesian zoo infamous for hundreds of animal deaths in recent years, an official said.

Second Komodo dragon dies at Indonesian 'death zoo'

Two Komodo dragons pictured in an enclosure at the Surabaya zoo in Surabaya, on Indonesia's main Java island, on June 2, 2014 - by Juni Kriswanto

It was the second of the creatures -- which are the world's largest living lizards and have a venomous bite -- to die this year at Surabaya zoo, on the main island of Java.

Zoo official Liang Kaspe said the lizard was found dead in its cage in the morning and it was still unclear what the cause was, adding that it may have ingested some kind of poison.

Surabaya zoo, Indonesia's largest, has been dubbed "death zoo" because so many animals have perished there prematurely in recent years owing to neglect, including orangutans, a tiger and a giraffe. 

Monday's death came after a Komodo dragon died at the zoo in February.

The management of the zoo has been taken over by the Surabaya city administration, but the deaths have not stopped and animal welfare groups continue to call for its closure.

Komodo dragons can grow up to three metres (10 feet) long and weigh up to 70 kilograms (154 pounds). They are classified as a vulnerable species.

The lizards, native to several islands in central Indonesia, are also popular with tourists.

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