Komodo National Park – Here Be Dragons…

When I was a kid the library was my portal to a different world. If I couldn’t ride a horse across the prairie I could read about it. If I couldn’t go to Africa or the jungles of Borneo, I could read about them. One book that I read and reread was about scientific adventures and adventurers. People like William Beebe and Otis Barton who explored the ocean’s depth in the first bathysphere. And someone who traveled to Komodo Island in eastern Indonesia to see the Komodo dragons.

Yesterday while cruising through WordPress for interesting writers (you can do this when you’re retired) I came across “Incidental Naturalist.” He went to Komodo which is part of an Indonesian national park and neighboring Rican. He saw Komodo dragons. Big Komodo dragons. Saw one attack and kill a young water buffalo while other members of the herd stood by and watched.

Several year’s ago, the executive editor of the San Francisco Chronicle Phil Bronstein, was attacked by a Komodo dragon in its enclosure at the city’s zoo. The visit to the enclosure was a Father’s Day gift by his wife actress Sharon Stone. because he had “always wanted to see a Komodo dragon up close.” He escaped with a crushed big toe and severed tendons. http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=93137&page=1

This is a great read and gets me as close as I want to get to a Komodo.

Incidental Naturalist

In 2007, a Komodo dragon killed an eight-year-old boy.  This was the first fatal attack on a human by one of the giant lizards in 33 years. “The Komodo bit him on his waist and tossed him viciously from side to side,” a national park spokesman, Heru Rudiharto, said.  “The boy died from massive bleeding half an hour later.”

This is the stuff of legends; huge reptiles capable of killing human beings, living on a remote Indonesian island. This may have been the first fatal attack for a while but it is just one of many attacks on people that have resulted in serious injury.

My childhood fascination with nature grew out of watching the behaviour of amphibians. Like many children, I learned about cycles of life by watching frog spawn become tadpoles and finally crawl out of the water on frogs’ legs. This interest naturally extended to the…

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