Dragon strike: Komodo monitor stalks squirrel after rodent tumbles into cage (GRAPHIC VIDEO)
The giant lizard was filmed roaming his enclosure at San Diego Zoo by visitors who got more than they bargained for when they witnessed the deadly predator spurred into action.
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO
The hungry carnivore can be seen diving into the bushes and climbing branches, before emerging triumphant with a tasty squirrel snack gripped in his mouth.
The unlucky squirrel makes a brief dramatic escape before the komodo dragon snatches it once again – for the last time.
The family can be heard enthusiastically commenting on the process and a woman can be heard explaining that the lizard is a predator and is hunting as he would in the wild.
“That’s very exciting, you don’t see that every day,” the woman adds.
The family continue filming as the dragon bites into the squirrel and then gulps the furry rodent down whole.
The Komodo dragon is the largest living lizard in the world and one of the few venomous species. They usually eat very large prey when in the wild, such as large water buffalo, deer and pigs.
The lizards are native to five south eastern Indonesian islands – including their namesake Komodo Island – and tackle their prey by pouncing and knocking them over with their huge feet.
They then use their sharp teeth to kill their prey. Even if their victim escapes at this stage it will die within 24 hours of blood poisoning from the Komodo’s venom.
Online commenters praised the woman who captured the video for using the incident to educate her children and make the most of this front seat view of the predator in action.