The Komodo dragon exists only in this one part of the world – on four small islands in the Komodo National Park, in the southern part of Indonesia. The animal’s isolation from the rest of the planet is what has ensured its survival for so long. It had no predators and was not discovered by the Western world until 1910. Quarantined and indomitable, evolution largely overlooked these dragons. And be warned… Komodo dragons are dangerous!
As I walk into the main camps of the two islands I visit – Rinca and Komodo – I can see some dragons laying on the ground. They seem docile and slow… but with sharp teeth and large claws, I keep my distance. A group of rangers with forked wooden sticks are there to protect us.
“We use the stick to push them away”, one tells me. “But when they are aggressive that’s not enough. Then we have to run.”