The rest of the crew went ashore with downbeat expectations of what they would see… yes you guessed it. There were multiple wild Komodo sightings! Even as we walked up to the official park entrance we were ‘greeted by’ a baby Komodo – apparently 18 months old. Komodos of this size are usually found in trees as up until the age of 3 they are considered prey for the adult Komodos… including their parents! After the usual Ranger kitchen viewing we visited a nest which was being guarded by a female. This behaviour seems kind of odd considering as soon as they hatch she would be quite happy to gobble down some of her 15-30 offspring down as a spot of dinner! A light snack would actually be a better description as when they eat, they really eat; their weight will balloon from 90kg to 160kg! After a feed like that they don’t need to eat for a week. After imparting this piece of knowledge our guide, Ramley, got very excited. The day before he had found a dead Water Buffalo at a watering hole. This was where he was taking us next and it was his secret, as he hadn’t told any of the other guides. The fact he knew about it and the others didn’t seemed to be a point of professional pride. He was hoping that we would get to see a feeding a Komodo! As it turned out the Water Buffalo had collapsed in the mud that constituted the watering hole as a result making it very hard for Komodo to feed. Instead it waited on a vantage point a couple of metres above guarding it’s prize – according to Ramley this Komodo had been bitten this Water Buffalo a week ago and had been tracking it ever since waiting for the deadly bacteria to kill it’s prey. So we didn’t get to see a feed but nonetheless we saw a lot more than most folk that visit this island…. including our poor old Simon. Upon our return to Skimpy his joy at our good fortune was unbridled! Well maybe not especially as he still didn’t have his hatch fixed!
Photos of our visit to these beasts can be found here