The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Who Needs Fiction: Komodo Dragon Attacks Escalate



This is an excerpt from an AP story. The full store can be read here.

Komodo dragon attacks terrorize Indonesia villages



KOMODO ISLAND, Indonesia – Komodo dragons have shark-like teeth and poisonous venom that can kill a person within hours of a bite. Yet villagers who have lived for generations alongside the world's largest lizard were not afraid — until the dragons started to attack.

The stories spread quickly across this smattering of tropical islands in southeastern Indonesia, the only place the endangered reptiles can still be found in the wild: Two people were killed since 2007 — a young boy and a fisherman — and others were badly wounded after being charged unprovoked.

Komodo dragon attacks are still rare, experts note. But fear is swirling through the fishing villages, along with questions on how best to live with the dragons in the future.

Main, a 46-year-old park ranger, was doing paperwork when a dragon slithered up the stairs of his wooden hut in Komodo National Park and went for his ankles dangling beneath the desk. When the ranger tried to pry open the beast's powerful jaws, it locked its teeth into his hand.

"I thought I wouldn't survive... I've spent half my life working with Komodos and have never seen anything like it," said Main, pointing to his jagged gashes, sewn up with 55 stitches and still swollen three months later. "Luckily, my friends heard my screams and got me to hospital in time."

Komodos, which are popular at zoos in the United States to Europe, grow to be 10 feet (3 meters) long and 150 pounds (70 kilograms). All of the estimated 2,500 left in the wild can be found within the 700-square-mile (1,810-square-kilometer) Komodo National Park, mostly on its two largest islands, Komodo and Rinca. The lizards on neighboring Padar were wiped out in the 1980s when hunters killed their main prey, deer.

6 comments:

walt said...

150 pounds? No problemo. I'd win.

10 feet long; razor-sharp teeth? Hmmm.

You know, I've never wanted to visit Indonesia...

Rick said...

I think they should do one of those Survivor shows on Komodo. Better yet, one of those Real World shows. Now THAT would be entertaining.

Zen said...

The animals are starting to fight back...next it will be the birds!!!

Rick said...

It's already happened:

http://cookdingskitchen.blogspot.com/2007/02/who-needs-fiction-hang-glider-attacked.html

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sheshel said...

Let's support Indonesia's Komodo National Park be New7Wonders of Nature