The world-renowned wildlife island of Komodo is the desolate domain of a fierce and very rare species of reptile that bears the looks of a prehistoric dinosaur and is appropriately called a Komodo Dragon. A clear indication of Komodo National Park's biological importance is its ranking with UNESCO as both a World Heritage Site and a Man and Biosphere Reserve.
The Komodo Dragon is thought to be the remnant of a once widespread ancient order of monitor lizards. Today, fewer than 300 of this protected species remains and its continuing existence hangs in the balance. Often measuring up to 11 feet in length and weighing in at over 300 pounds, this ominous looking creature, with its sharp, saw-like teeth and menacing eyes, leaves a lasting impression on all who have had the opportunity to see it up close. Living on deer and wild pigs that inhabit the island, it is surprisingly agile when covering short distances and is a good swimmer.
Tendering from the ship, we arrived at the Komodo Jetty, which is the headquarters of the Komodo National Park. Once ashore, we were met by a local tour guide that began the walking expedition of the island. Traveling in small groups with the guide and a park ranger, we made our way along paths that lead through pockets of thorny vegetation and dry tropical grasslands to the viewing point. As we got closer, senses heightened with anticipation that the dragons would make an appearance. And it did.
As we got to Komodo Island, we were welcomed with a wooden jetty and ramp. The ramp was a little on the steep side when we got there. However, due to high tidal changes in the area, the steepness changes as well.
Our Komodo Dragon Adventure was scheduled for about 2 ½ hours, and at the entrance of the park, we were met by our guide who accompanied us on our adventure.
Here, we're making our way to the viewing point of the Komodo Dragon.
Our first glimpse of the Komodo Dragon.
Did you know the Komodo Dragon is the world's heaviest living lizard? It can grow to almost 10 ft. (over 3m) and weigh close to 200 lbs. (91kg). The Komodo National Park was first founded in 1980 to protect its large lizard inhabitant.
Without a doubt, Komodo Island has a rare beauty. It is also once in a lifetime experience to see the amazing Komodo Dragon in its natural habitat.
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