Monday, December 27, 2010

Dragon Fight! One day trip to Komodo Island part 2

The ranger and the local guide are walking around us to make sure we are save. They have the Y shape sticks can push away dragons if they get close to us. They say it is hard to know how many of dragons here because dragons don't have the sense of their own territory. The zoo of San Diego has a team here to study those dragons, they cut open a deer or sheep to attract the dragons and put numbers on them [ Don't ask me how they do it..] they think there are about 1300 dragons on this island which also means there are about 1290 dragons we haven't seen as far hiding some where around us...

Luckily, noon is just too hot for them and most of them are resting under the bushes. It is a bit too quiet, the guide is now searching for their egg nests.

After the mating season, female dragons lay their eggs in a 1.5-2 meter deep dirt hole made by one kind of bird. They usually make couple more holes around the real one to misleading the egg thieves. The eggs will lay in the dirt for 9 months so the mothers usually guard not far away from the egg nests. Ironically, dragons also eats the eggs and that's what I am about to tell you.
I think that is the 3rd or 4th hole we find and at the same time, we see 2 female dragons are right by the nest. We move perpendicularly to their right side quickly about 4-5 meters away. We hear they hissing like snakes but 50 times louder. 2 female dragons are challenging each other face to face! We hide ourselves behind bushes and peak out through the leaves. All the sudden, the 2 dragons jump in the air and hit each other with chest and belly exactly like how Sumo players do. They fall into the bushes and we move 2 meters closer to them quickly, we finally dare to take a picture.

You can see there is a defeated dragon flat behind this monster
The one on top keeps pushing the bottom one into dirt, after 1-2 mins, the bottom one loses the fight and seems to us, loses its conscious. The guide tells us dragons have very fragile face and they can die if you hit their faces hard. The loser just lays on the ground belly up, the clearly bigger size winner leaves her and moves towards to the nest.

She gives us a nasty look and keeps going. She leaves us alone because she has a more important goal.
At beginning, we think she is the worried mother can not wait to check on those eggs. She slips into the nest hole and starts to dig into the egg holes.

After she tries to dig 2 different holes, we realise she is the outsider planing to eat the eggs!
We leave her alone after her second dig and I hope she doesn't find out where the eggs are.The whole thing is so intensive we quietly keep going on the trail. The ranger and guide keep telling us we are very lucky. There was a Japanese TV Show spent 4 weeks to wait for a fight last month. Meanwhile, the guide spots the other interesting animal!

Remember those birds making the nest holes? They are chicken size no fly ability birds always come in pairs. They are similar to the Kiwi birds in New Zealand. The pair infront of us are light brown color and using their skinny but strong legs to dig a new 1.5-2 meters deep dirt hole.

They are hidden in the deep bushes, we only catch a blur image from behind.

After those unexpected great events, we are ready to have a break.We take the boat for lunch on a little white sand beach nearby.


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