Komodo dragon bites tourist in Indonesia

As the Jakarta Post reports, the 50-year-old Singaporean man was in the region to visit Komodo National Park, an area known for its scuba diving and dinosaur-like residents, when he came across a group of Komodo dragons eating pigs and goats that belonged to the local villagers. He meant to take pictures, ignoring locals' warnings that he should not go too close.

The lizards are native to several Indonesian islands, and are considered a vulnerable species, with only a few thousand left in the world. He was rushed to a small medical centre to receive first aid treatment, and was then rushed to Siloam General Hospital in Labuan Bajo for intensive care in a military speed-boat.

Experts say the Komodo dragon population in the wild is less than 4,000 but stable.

Sudiyono, the head of the Komodo National Park-islands in central Indonesia that form a protected habitat for the lizards-said it was the first attack by one of the creatures on a foreign tourist since 1974, when a visitor from overseas was killed.

He added that the Singaporean had stayed with locals for three days to save costs. The man apparently ignored the signs warning of a restricted area and made a decision to approach the Komodo Dragon. Sudiyono said. It is the first instance of a Komodo dragon attacking a human in five years, according to Sudiyono.

"The incident took place away from the area set by us where tourists are allowed to observe Komodos".

"I urge tourists who travel the island to see the komodo, to be guided by officers for their own safety", he advised.

  • Carolyn Briggs