Couple of dragons
the male being 2.5m long
Female on the beach after a feast
small yellow snail with black stripes and pink end, species endemic to the island of Komodo
I also insisted on having my picture taken with these unique creatures from another world
small flying lizard spreading its membranes, teased by our talented guide and Claire
Before all, Komodo is the home of the giant monitor lizards, who probably enhanced the Asian fascination for dragons. They are only but a few thousands, and, what's more, there are three times as many males as females. But since 1980, they are left in peace to hunt deer, rabbit, goat, pig and wild horses. Beware! Don't be mistaken, for despite their lazy and slow looks, they can reach 35km/h and kill a man, by using their powerful tail or biting, which leaves a deadly infection.
Our ranger proved himself very skilled at showing us the animals, and even caught some, as well as spotting the traces of the giant lizards (dry white droppings, containing hair, skin and bones of deer, or nails indicating the consumption of a fellow's corpse, burrows), and other more secretive animals (civet cat droppings, megapode bird mount). We also saw some original flora: tamarin tree, wild pumpkin and orchids, as well as a tree that lives 35 years before having fruits once and dying.
Apart from these monsters, we saw many other animals during our walk through the national park: some mammals (small wild deer), birds (imperial pigeon, cockatoo, black napit oriole, wild chicken, falcon, fisher eagle), reptiles (flying lizard, gecko, but no vipers, cobras or green snakes who come out more in March-April), and other creatures (scorpion, snail endemic to Komodo, big crab, preying mantis, giant black golden spider).
He especially amazed me when I asked him if there were any sulphur-crested cockatoos, which are one of the spectacular birds of this province. He was surprised I had not seen any yet, and told to wait a little as he started to whistle. Soon, they started to answer, and suddenly, he told me to look up in the trees, because they were going to fly away, which they did just then. In a symbolical way, it summed up the magic of this park, and a last unexpected encounter with a female Komodo on the beach only topped it all.