Saturday, 18 February 2012

Here be dragons, and they're after you

A TOUR of Indonesia's spice islands brings a close encounter with a reptilian giant. by Barry O'Brien, The Adelaide Advertiser

A BIG beady eye fixed its gaze on me. Suddenly the long, powerful tail started to twitch and the monstrous beast lifted to its full height on razor-sharp, clawed feet. I was sitting on the ground near a water hole trying to get a low-angle close-up shot of two Komodo dragons, side by side in the wild.

"I'd get up now sir," our guide pleaded with a hint of trepidation in his voice as he readied his stick to counter a possible attack. When one of the reptiles moved towards me, its long, white, forked tongue darting in and out, I didn't drag my feet in heeding his earnest warning.

Earlier we'd been told how a bite from these 3m monsters causes a painful death to their prey by infecting them with poison. Only a couple of years ago a child was taken from a village by a dragon.

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