Hi, Mr. Nature here, with a warning to all you eco-tourists–don’t mess with apex predators.
In Komodo National Park, Indonesia, recently, a tourist from Singapore, eager to take really cool pictures, ignored warnings and ventured too close to the Komodo dragons while they were eating goats. He was so absorbed in picture-taking that he didn’t notice another lizard creeping up on him–and the dragon practically took his leg off ( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4473224/Tourist-50-attacked-Komodo-dragon-Indonesia.html). Warning: news link contains gory pictures.
The Komodo dragon–“the world’s largest living lizard,” as Bob and Ray were so fond of saying–grows up to ten feet long and can weigh anywhere from 150 to 300 pounds. There aren’t many of them left in this world, and they’re strictly protected. They’re also a major tourist attraction.
In their little island world, though, these are the apex predators, top of the food chain; and because they’re protected, and have so little experience in dealing with human beings, they have no fear of man and will eat you if they can. If their size and strength don’t do you in, their bite is also venomous. Since 1974, five park visitors have died after being bitten.
My own monitor lizard, Spot, a savannah monitor only two feet long, once took exception to the medicine I was giving her and chomped down on my finger. Because she was only making a statement, and not seriously committed to fixing my wagon but good, I still have the finger. But her bite felt just like getting a car door slammed onto my hand. P.S.–The savannah monitor isn’t poisonous.
So… the next time someone invites you to swim with the sharks, or get up close and personal with a pride of lions… just say no. Top predators deserve respect!
18 comments on “Beware the Komodo Dragon!”
These are one of the most fascinating creatures on earth. However, they are the size of an alligator and probably every bit as dangerous.
Any of these lurking about Obann?
You’ll meet a really nasty reptile in . Not that the snake-beast inhabiting the ruins of Old Obann was a critter to be taken lightly. (in “Cellar Beneath the Cellar”)
I look forward to meeting that reptile. I really enjoy how you have brought some of these prehistoric creatures back to life. I don’t believe that any of God’s works will ever be truly lost.
In Florida, land of the alligator, it’s rare to hear of an attack on people. We know enough to stay away from them! – especially during mating season when they’re on the move. They turn up in people’s backyards, garages, pools, patios . . . And they’re surprisingly fast runners on land, so outrunning them isn’t the best option. Some creatures aren’t meant to be interactive with humans – unless it’s dinnertime 🙂
I think I forgot to mention that it’s currently the Komodo dragons’ mating season.
The thing that makes them really dangerous is that they’re sneaky–expert ambush predators. By the time you know that one has zeroed in on you, it might be too late.
Spot ate a whole starling once. A human leg is a treat that a Komodo dragon would dispose of in a single gulp or two.
There was a video online a couple of weeks ago showing a 9′ alligator that had climbed onto someone’s elevated deck. The video was taken by the alligator removal company and its obvious that they earned their keep, that day.
I’ve had a couple of rattlesnake encounters in my day, and that’s plenty for me. There’s something about the raw fury of a reptile that gives one pause. I avoid them to the extent possible and advise the same to others. Wild animals, and especially reptiles, are not something to be trifled with. They operate in a world of pure survival instinct and the rules of their game are not pleasant to contemplate.
Can you imagine what it would be like to meet a dinosaur? Could you imagine facing something that size and having no idea of how it would behave? When I was a child, I read a book called The Shy Stegosaurus of Cricket Creek, and I’ve felt deprived ever since. I’d love to see a Stegosaurus (the official dinosaur of the state of Colorado), but I’m not sure that a Stegosaurus would want to meet me. 🙂
I can’t speak for snakes or alligators, having had little or no experience with them. But if you’re kind and patient, lizards and turtles will respond to you. With them I’ve had a lot of experience indeed.
I had a pet snake, of a harmless species. About as much as I could accomplish was that the snake was calm when handled and seemed to associate my scent with safety.
I have no desire to ever again buy mice to serve as snake food. I’m happy to let the snakes and the mice sort things out for themselves, in the wild. Snakes are fascinating, but in my opinion they are best left to their lives in the wild.
Yes, mice as food–that’s how you wind up with no monitor lizard and a lot of pet mice. Never again will I buy mice as food. It appalls me that I ever did.
My very thoughts.
Having a pet snake was fascinating and I came to truly appreciate this mysterious creature, but I would never want another. There are deer and rabbits in my yard, which is almost as good as a pet, and I don’t have to clean up after them or worry about finding a pet sitter when I travel.
I was raising crickets to feed to my turtle, and I got stuck on them, too. He was just as happy with whatever I was eating (always share with your pets), and it was sort of magic to have crickets singing in your living room on New Year’s Eve.
Lee Duigon, you are as big of a softie as me, and that’s saying something. I won’t tell anyone if you don’t.
It’s more than a trivia point: “A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.”
Komkdos run quickly and swim. If you are attacked, get into a building or automobile or climb a tree real fast, real high. Don’t give them medicine.
You just took away my hobby. I spent my free time giving Benadryl to allergic Comodo Dragons. 🙂
Just in case I run into any Komodo Dragons, I have Benadryl on hand. I’m the one who’s allergic! 🙂
A 10′ poisonous lizard with sinus trouble, that would be the definition of a creature with a bad attitude. 🙂
I’m not really a “Komodo dragon” person.
That said, I can report that your fine article is both “Super!” and “Great!”