If you still think that the dragon is a mythical beast found only in legends, go to Komodo National Park, located on Komodo Island, Indonesia, to see these fearless creatures, which have close ties to ancient dinosaurs.
The land of the Komodo dragon
Komodo Island is no ordinary island. Here lies an otherworldly landscape beautified by white sand beaches, sapphire water, and mysterious tropical forests. There is even a special feature on the east side of Komodo Island: a light-pink sand beach, like it’s been painted.
However, these aren’t the first things to pop into people’s minds when they think of this island. Komodo Island is inhabited by Komodo dragons, an enormous reptile considered the descendants of ancient dinosaurs. Komodo National Park was established in 1980, consisting of Komodo Island and nearby isles in order to preserve and protect Komodo dragons and their natural habitat. According to the World Society for the Protection of Animals, some 6,000 individual Komodo dragons are currently found in Komodo National Park, Indonesia.
Komodo dragons have many characteristics that help them not merely survive but thrive in such a harsh environment as a volcanic island, where their food supply is plenty and includes spiky trees, and terrestrial and aquatic animals. These reptiles can only survive in this area. They are capable of climbing trees like lizards, diving up to 5m underwater to catch fish, and running at a speed of over 20km/h to chase and kill animals like deer, stag, wild cattle, and wild boars – their favorite food. They can even attack and kill their own kind for survival. This makes them extremely dangerous, wild and undisputed kings of Komodo Island. There is an important edge assisting them in maintaining their crown in the struggle for survival against other creatures: their poison. Their main means of hunting is by biting and infusing poison into their prey’s body, paralyzing it. This effective weapon is great compensation for their heavy body, a minus in races and fights versus larger prey, and helps them use less energy to obtain a nice meal.
Hunting for the Komodo
The purpose of this “hunt” is not to kill or capture these animals but to catch a glimpse of them in their natural habitat. A successful “hunt” means getting a close look at these mighty wild creatures.
The first thing visitors must do is to register when setting foot on Komodo Island. It is best to hire an experienced guide who can provide useful insights and directions. If you are lucky, you may encounter some of these creatures slowly crawling right beside your trekking route. If not, many hills and trails await your conquering footsteps on this once-in-a-lifetime journey. After such a long and eventful trip, you fill feel a wonderful mix of thrill, fear, and triumph upon seeing one of the world’s most wonderful wild creatures with your own eyes. Don’t worry too much as Komodo dragons generally move quite slowly and won’t trouble you if you keep your distance.
Komodo dragons are considered national treasures in Indonesia. This status gives them and their habitat strict governmental protection in Komodo National Park. Help to protect Komodo dragons by preserving the biodiversity of their natural habitat and food source. Come here to witness these magnificent creature and “capture” nothing but wonderful pictures.