For the first time in five years, a Komodo Dragon has attacked a human. 50-year-old backpacker, Lon Lee Alle was traveling from Singapore when he came across a Komodo Dragon feasting on pigs and goats. Alle was told to stay away from the beast by the local villagers as they were aggressive while eating. He didn’t listen.
Alle reportedly disregarded the warnings and approached the Komodo in the National Park in East Nusa Tenggara, the country’s southernmost province to take a picture. According to the villagers, Alle was severely bitten on his left leg and was rescued by the villagers and taken to a hospital via military speedboat.
The manager of the national park, Sudiyono, released a statement on the attack to a local publication. “He must have been too close. A Komodo doesn’t like to be disturbed when eating,” he said.
Alle stayed with the villagers for a little under a week to save money and was repeatedly told not to approach the large lizards. The incident occurred near an observation post for the Komodos.
“I also appeal to all tourists to take guides with you when wandering around to see Komodo dragons,” he told journalists. “Never risk your safety by staying with locals and watching Komodos without an official guide only for the sake of your budget.”
Komodo Dragons have been endangered since 2014 after their natural habitats were destroyed by those using the land for homes. The world’s largest lizard can typically grow up to 12 feet long and weigh over 300 pounds and are still involved in Chinese folklore, according to Bagheera, a website that covers endangered animals.
There are less than 4,000 Komodo Dragons in the world currently, but they’re in stable condition according to various reports. Komodo Dragons are meat eaters but rarely attack humans unless they feel threatened or are eating and you get too close as Alle allegedly did.
In 2011, a separate Komodo Dragon attack took place in eastern Indonesia where a fruit picker was mauled to death by two 10 foot long Komodos.