Indonesia: Komodo Island Eyed to Shut Down

Apr 29, 2019 | ESCAPE, Indonesia, NEWS

Culture & Travel 

Sacred Monkey Forest – Bali | Shankar S

Visiting Indonesia to see Komodo Dragons next year? You might want to adjust your plans.

Wildlife enthusiasts all over the world might want to skip visiting Komodo Island. East Nusa Tenggara officials are planning to close down the park for one year.

This decision was prompted by the need to fix problems which came up due to mass tourism. Thousands of tourists go to the islands located in the eastern part of the country to visit the world’s largest lizards.

The island is home to thousands of dragons which weighs 70 to 90 kilograms and can grow up to three feet in length.

According to Marius Jelamu, NTT administration spokesperson, the closure will only be in Komodo Island and will not include other conservation areas where the dragons are present.

Rinca Island - Indonesia

Rinca Island – Indonesia | Isabell Schulz

Jelamu added that the closure will give the authorities time to ensure that the food of the precious animals is enough, as well as preserve their home. Officials also aim to increase the population of the animals.

The area is the only place in the world where people can see the animals in their natural habitat.

The plans to close the park for visitors has been under discussion for months following the smuggling of 41 Komodo dragons which were sold for around 500 million rupiahs each, or around $35,000.

Komodo Island has increased its popularity in recent years because of cheap new flights and hotels in Flores and Labuan Bajo. It receives around 10,000 visitors monthly.

Komodo National Park Indonesia

Komodo National Park Indonesia | Charlie Marchant

UNESCO reported that in the islands of Komodo, Gili Motong, Rinca, and other coastal regions of northern and western Flores, there are around 5,700 dragons.

The supersize lizards are not the only attraction of the park. Tourists can also snorkel and dive in the area, as well as marvel at its striking scenery.

The news of Komodo Island’s ban is only one example of many Asia news of closure of tourist spots to give time to rehabilitate. Some areas which also closed down are Boracay, and Maya Bay.

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