Giant Komodo Dragon Receives Acupuncture
Aug. 19, 2003
SINGAPORE (AP) _ An 8-foot-long Komodo dragon lizard in Singapore's zoo has been receiving traditional Chinese acupuncture treatment for a nerve disorder.
``Tirto is now more relaxed and is beginning to enjoy his treatments,'' a spokesman for the Singapore Zoological Gardens, Vincent Tan, said Tuesday.
He said the 8-year-old, 94-pound male lizard, has been receiving twice-weekly treatments for a neurological disorder from veterinarian Oh Soon Hock for the past three weeks.
Komodo dragons, the world's largest lizards, are prehistoric-looking reptiles that can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh more than 200 pounds. They have long claws and serrated teeth that help them tear meat from the animals they prey upon.
Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years in many parts of Asia, where it's believed that pricking a patient with stainless steel needles in strategic places helps nerve and circulatory functions.
Tirto had been having problems swallowing and eating. The zoo initially tried steroid treatment, but eventually turned to the ancient traditional treatment still widely used here.
Tirto will receive antibiotics along with the spine-tingling needle treatments.