Call it close encounters of a kitten kind.
In late July, a stray kitten somehow found its way into a komodo dragon exhibit at the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas. When a zoo guest noticed the tiny, furry creature in the outdoor enclosure, they notified staff, who followed protocol and got the kitten out quickly and safely.
Luckily, the kitten and the komodo dragon weren't in the same section of the exhibit at the same time. While the kitten was in the outside portion, the dragon was reportedly seen in the zoo's indoor area. According to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, the komodo dragon is not only the largest living lizard, but, in the wild, they will eat "almost any kind of meat."
"We are located in the midst of Forrest Park, which is one of the big park systems here in Fort Worth. So, as it often happens in public parks, there are feral cat populations around us," Alexis Wilson, the director of communications for the Fort Worth Zoo, tells petMD. "We do our best to keep them out of the zoo because it’s not healthy, obviously, for our animals to have interactions with outside animals of any kind."
After the kitten was rescued she was taken to the zoo's animal hospital to ensure she was healthy, and from there they took her to the Humane Society of North Texas (HSNT).
Sandy Shelby, the executive director of the HSNT, tells us that the resilient cat (who is roughly 5-weeks-old) is "thriving and doing well... [she is] eating good and is healthy."
The kitten is currently in foster care until she is ready to be adopted. "We are happy to take charge of this sweet baby and will find her a great home when she is old enough to be spayed and have her vaccinations," says Shelby. "Most of all, we are happy this story turned out the way it did and she was rescued in time."
While the kitty (who has since, fittingly, been named Komodo), could have been in harm's way, Wilson feels certain that even if the two creatures were in the same place, the komodo dragon "would not have been particularly interested" in the kitten.
"We [often] think these larger creatures can be vicious, but you can never tell on size alone," says Wilson. "The animal kingdom is continuously unpredictable."
Image via Humane Society of North Texas Facebook