Komodo dragons unharmed in national park fire

Screengrabs taken from Instagram
Screengrabs taken from Instagram

A blaze ravaged parts of an island that forms part of the Komodo National Park in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) last night, with park authorities today saying the world-famous scaly inhabitants endemic to the area were unaffected.

“The fire has been extinguished by [our] team and the local residents,” Ismail Surdi, who heads the regional disaster management agency (BPBD) in NTT, confirmed today. 

The fire occurred in the north and west parts of Rinca Island, according to park official Lukita Awang. Dozens of people, comprising 32 rangers and 11 local residents, were reportedly involved in putting out the blaze. According to reports, professional firefighters were not present, and therefore efforts had to rely on makeshift resources. 

Authorities have yet to reveal the extent of the fire, nor have they received any reports of any Komodo dragons affected by the incident. As of this afternoon, the blaze has reportedly been put out and an investigation into its cause is underway. 

The Komodo National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to around 2,800 Komodo dragons. The park was initially established to conserve the unique Komodo dragon, but it has also been marked as a huge tourist attraction in recent years by the Indonesian government. 

Other stories to read: 

Komodo dragons now classified as ‘endangered’ due to threats from climate change: IUCN 

UNESCO calls on Indonesian gov’t to halt tourism projects in Komodo National Park

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