Treats Banned, Komodo Dragons Get Nasty

Ban on food offerings 'angers' hungry lizards
By Jess Kilby,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2008 5:53 AM CDT
Treats Banned, Komodo Dragons Get Nasty
View of Komodo Island in the Flores sea, Indonesia, home of the Komodo dragon.    (Shutterstock/Holger Mette)

Komodo dragons in an Indonesian park are increasingly attacking humans, and villagers who share their habitat say environmentalist policies are to blame, reports the Wall Street Journal. Inhabitants of Komodo National Park have traditionally left deer and sheep for the carnivorous lizards, the largest in the world. But new laws banning the offerings have made the dragons “angry with us,” said a villager.

On the advice of the American conservation group that manages the park, officials have abolished sheep sacrifices (performed mainly for tourists) and deer hunting, saying a healthy deer population is vital to the dragons’ survival. Officials also say a growing human population within the park— there are roughly 4,000 people and 2,500 dragons—is to blame for the increase in attacks. (More Komodo dragon stories.)

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