Controversy in Komodo National Park

There’s been rumors of dragon smuggling out of Komodo National Park for years; juvenile Komodos can fetch as much as $4,500 each in the exotic animal trade. This is in a country where the average citizen makes $8,000 a year. And though I’ve always known about the excellent diving in the park, mainly due to accounts of stranded divers who get stalked by some opportunistic Komodo, this is the first I’ve heard of the destruction of the coral reefs in the area. Despite the park’s defense of their security–if killing someone can be considered an assurance of environmental protection–it’s difficult to disregard the accounts of divers who know the reefs so well. Let’s hope the government steps in before the ecosystem is literally blown away.

The ruined reefs off Komodo