The living dragon

When the group traveling thousands of kilometers just to see the dragon heard the ranger telling that they will maybe not see the reptile in just one trip, they exploded in rage. They were just burning their shortest-in-the-world vacation, spent a lot of money for traveling to Komodo and just bought the newest expensive cameras, and now the news are that Komodo dragon is not a sure sight?

– “I will do my best to find the dragon for you.” said the ranger, then turned to the narrow path to lead the group. He was carrying a forked stick on his sholder, the best defeat against the largest lizard in the world, the ancient survivor now only found on few islands of the Komodo national park.

Left to hatch alone, son of a mother that don’t even need a male to lay fertile eggs, the dragon offspring needs to run and hide in a tree and make it its nest for the following four years, just to hide from its cannibalistic family. And this is just the very first day of its life. It will take four years for it to get that large to loose the ability to climb trees, at the same time large enough to join its pack of adults on land. Easily reaching 2 – 3 meters in length and weighting some 50 –  70 kg, featuring  shark like teeth charged with a powerful poison and bacteria cocktail, no wonder the dragon easily took the top of the food chain on its islands. They eat anything that moves, however large buffalo and deer makes much better choice for a dragon that easily eats a meal weighting 80% of his body weight.  The only creature that kills an adult dragon is the human, but humans also started a conservation program and part of it they ask rangers not to feed the dragons so to turn them in an exhibit for the avid short vacation wildlife seeker.

– “Then what’s the catch with those large dragons laying lazy near the rangers’ house?’

Our guy smiled instead of saying a word. He balanced the forked stick in his hand.

– “You asked me about the stick, right? You know, a dragon will attack you swiftly but always runs straight . He needs to stop to turn. So if hunted, you never run in his line straight ahead. Always turn and run at a side then change direction sharply. Or you better carry this forked stick to stop it to attack you and your folks. ” Again, he smiles.

We’ve been lucky to spot those two dragons in the wild on Rinca. Luckily the forked stick was not needed, one dragon being to lazy to move and the other too passionate digging  for the eggs of an orange footed scrub-fowl.

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