Komodo Island is one of the 17,508 islands that make up Republic of Indonesia . The island has a surface area of 390 km². There are approximately 2000 people that live on this island who are mostly descendants of former convicts once exiled here.
The Komodo Island is part of Komodo National Park and is especially known for it’s native Komodo Dragon , the world’s largest living lizard.
Komodo Dragon – Man’s best friend ?
For centuries, a local tradition required feeding the dragons by leaving deer parts behind after a hunt or by sacrificing goats. In the past, this practice has maintained a friendly relationship with the animals, which can live for more than 50 years and recognize individual humans.
Ancient taboos also strictly forbid harming the komodos, which is why they survived here while they became extinct elsewhere.1995 a US environment protection group began a conservation project designed to create a more natural habitat for the komodos, prohibiting the feeding tradition as well as deer hunting practised by the islanders. The deer population consequently increased and is now providing the komodos a more self-sufficient and natural hunting ground than in recent history. Still, having become used to being fed, the komodos occasionally prefer to seek out easier prey in the vicinity of human settlements by entering villages and hiding under stilt-houses while awaiting opportunity to snap passing goat or chicken. At the same time, the animals have become more aggressive towards humans, sometimes resulting in deadly attacks.
Main attractions on Komodo Island
The Komodo Dragon remains a symbolic attraction of the island, drawing a large number of visiting tourists, providing employment and supporting a local economy.Komodo Island is not just known for its heritage of convicts and fearsome lizards but also for its rich marine life . More then 3000 fish species and 600 types of corals live in these waters. That’s why Komodo Island is also a very popular destination for diving .