Sir David Attenborough joined staff at ZSL London Zoo on 9 August 2016 to mark the official renaming of a Komodo dragon enclosure in his honour.
ZSL London Zoo’s Komodo dragon enclosure was renamed ‘The Attenborough Komodo Dragon House’ at an official ceremony in celebration of Sir David Attenborough’s 90th birthday.
As well as marking the internationally-renowned wildlife expert’s milestone birthday, the newly named exhibit celebrates his long-standing history with ZSL London Zoo and Komodo dragons.
60 years ago, in 1956, Sir David and his team were the first crew to ever capture Komodo dragons on camera, while filming for the iconic BBC series ‘Zoo Quest for a Dragon’ - in which Sir David sought to locate the amazing creatures in their native Indonesia, in partnership with ZSL London Zoo.
Never intending to be in front of the camera, Sir David’s career was launched with the first series of Zoo Quest, when he stepped in as presenter in the place of ZSL London Zoo’s then curator of reptiles, Jack Lester, who had unfortunately fallen ill.
With the veteran wildlife expert in attendance at the event at ZSL London Zoo, The Attenborough Komodo Dragon House was renamed in front of a group of staff and special guests, with Sir David unveiling a plaque to officially retitle the enclosure.
The Zoo’s resident Komodo dragon, Ganas, was treated to a special scent-trail of blood and scents, laid out for him by Sir David, before posing for some pictures behind the world-famous wildlife enthusiast.
The Zoological Society of London’s Director General Ralph Armond said: “Sir David Attenborough has had a profound impact on all of us here at the Zoological Society of London, as well as inspiring millions of animal lovers around the world.
“Sir David’s rich history with ZSL is something we’re incredibly proud of, from his ground-breaking TV series filmed at our Zoos to becoming an honorary Fellow of the Society, and we wanted to celebrate his 90th year with a meaningful acknowledgment.
“Komodo dragons were first introduced to the British public by Sir David 60 years ago, on BBC’s iconic series ‘Zoo Quest for a Dragon’, so we felt it was a perfectly fitting tribute to name this exhibit in his honour.”
The Attenborough Komodo Dragon House is open to the public, with visitors able to follow in Sir David’s footsteps.