Portsmouth Dragons Celebrate Chinese New Year

Portsmouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium is marking the official start of the Chinese Year of the Dragon on January 23rd with the help of their very own ‘dragons’.

And the aquarium, which is home to four rescued water dragons, is also enjoying its own mini baby dragon boom as one of the females is pregnant.

The Chinese believe children born in the Year of the Dragon are destined to be successful and wealthy. Authorities are anticipating a baby boom across the country as couples rush to have a child born in such a lucky year. 

Blue Reef’s Jennifer Atkinson said: “It’s fantastic news that she’s pregnant; particularly in such an auspicious year!

“Since arriving here in November last year the water dragons, which were rescued from a Welsh wildlife attraction which was forced to close down, have become really popular with visitors.

“We thought that, as this is officially the start of the Year of the Dragon, it would be fun to dedicate a whole week to these fascinating reptiles.”

Visitors will be able to meet and find out all about them in a series of talks and special events taking place throughout the week

Chinese water dragons can grow up to 90 cm (3 ft) in length and are native to the lowland and highland forests of India, northern and southern China, and eastern and south eastern Asia.

As their name suggests they are most commonly found along the banks of freshwater lakes and streams. They are active during the day and spend most of their time in the trees or plants. 

If threatened, the dragon will drop from the trees into the water and either swim to safety or remain submerged for up to 25 minutes.