Much has been presumed about the fate of Loh Lee Aik, the Singaporean tourist who was bitten by a Komodo dragon in Indonesia, but rumors of his death are greatly exaggerated. The 68-year-old’s fine, really; and, according to his interview with Lianhe Wanbao, he didn’t expect that much attention to hover around his brush with the particularly bite-y beast.
Loh recounts how he made the mistake of thinking that the dragons wouldn’t be hard to detect when he wandered off on his own to snap some pictures. Apparently, the avid photographer had been disappointed by the “lifeless” lizards when a tour guide brought him to the Komodo National Park, where the giant reptiles were said to be fed regularly and had grown accustomed to the presence of humans.
On the morning of May 3, Loh decided to get up early to look for some wild dragons, so he climbed up a hill to get a couple landscape pictures. He expressed worries that there would be dragons nearby, but he believed that they wouldn’t be hard to detect, considering that “the grass was not long”.
It was when he started snapping photos that a large lizard appeared from behind and chomped on his calf, causing blood to start gushing out. “It took less than a second, and I only saw its shadow,” he said to Lianhe Wanbao.
The man added that he had to hop on one leg all the way back to the village, which was about 200m away. No doctor was around, so the village’s midwife had to stitch up his wounds — without anaesthesia, no less.
He was conveyed via a military speed boat to the Flores hospital on another island, where he was given 43 stitches. Surprisingly, Loh didn’t think it was a big deal, and he didn’t even inform his children about it. They only found out later from the news reports.
But it is a big deal — this was the first time in five years that a human was bitten by a Komodo dragon, according to the Komodo National Park’s head. Again, we can’t assert this enough: Don’t fuck with dragons.