Komodo dragon attacks 2 park employees in eastern Indonesia

Two workers at a wildlife park in Indonesia have been hospitalized after being attacked by a 6.5-foot-long Komodo dragon that wandered into their office. Both men were evacuated to a hospital with severe bite wounds. (HT: @aileengraef)


    1. They’re just venomous.

      Not ‘just venomous’, they really do have lots of harmful bacteria in their saliva. It seems still to be somewhat controversial as to whether venom, bacteria or trauma is the major factor.

  1. I think the general attitude of Komodo dragons was summed up nicely in a documentary or news report or something I saw years ago. A researcher had put a dragon into a sack in order to weigh it. It was thrashing around angrily as one does when one is in a sack, and the host or reporter said “It doesn’t look as if he likes this very much”.

    The researcher replied “Komodo dragons don’t like anything”.

  2. Landshark!

    One nature program showed a Komodo dragon putting the host (it may well have been Steve Irwin, but I’m not sure) up a tree, and the only reason he made it was because he was in shape and moved very fast,  The dragon came up after him as far as it could and still tried to take a couple of reaching bites at the top of its lunge.

  3. I thought Komodo’s were scavengers? I would have thought that it was more likely spooked from ending up in a confined space with another big animal, rather than being a nasty bastard.

    1. No, Komodos are a particularly lazy predator but they’re still a predator. They hunt by biting prey animals, and then waiting patiently for the horible biochemistry in their mouths to do its work – a toxic stew of venom and septic bacteria, along with big ragged wounds to maximize surface exposure in the victim.

      They follow the victim around for days waiting for it to weaken enough to just start eating it.

      They also eat carrion, but that’s nearly universal for carnivores of any kind. I think it’s pretty much cheetahs that won’t scavenge.

  4. If you want to read/listen to an hilarious account of them, Douglas Adams wrote about them in a chapter of his excellent book, “Last Chance to See”.  The book is fantastic, but this talk is equally delightful:

    He talks about quite a few things in there, but one of them is reading an excerpt from the chapter about komodo dragons.

    1. If you’ve read that book, you’ll also know that the longest anyone has ever survived after being bitten is two years.

  5. What’s sad is that the dragon realized that the rangers were helpful and necessary for its protection, but that day his ‘lizard brain’ got the best of him, and he was just, ‘fuck it, I’m going to eat one.’ 

  6. I visited Komodo Island last year and stood 4 ft from the largest one in a group of 3. There were probably 8 park attendants with us-they used long forked sticks to move the dragons around and we decided upon leaving that the dragons were most likely sedated for obvious reasons…

  7. Pet peeve mode ON: The original story quotes the source as describing the lizard as two metres long. The way people use numbers, that’s not likely to be very precise. It probably amounts to ‘between one and three-quarter metres and two and a quarter metres’. Converting it to Imperial as 6.5 feet, as the WashPost article does, very likely introduces spurious precision. It would make far more sense to say ‘about six feet’ or ‘about two yards’.

    On behalf of the Campaign For Precisely-defined Vagueness.

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