Komodo Island could ban tourists after reports that people are smuggling dragons

Indonesia’s Komodo Island has long drawn crowds of visitors thanks to the impressive population of Komodo dragons which reside here.

However, it looks like tourists could soon be banned from visiting the hotspot.

According to local Indonesian newspaper Tempo , the ban comes following reports that people have been allegedly smuggling dragons from the island.

It’s believed that approximately 41 of the giant lizards were taken from the island and subsequently sold abroad.

The closure would be in a bid to help protect the animals, and as part of a wider conservation effort because the Komodo dragons are an endangered species.

In fact, Indonesia is the only place in the world where you can spot these creatures in the wild.

There are hopes that the closure of the tourist spot will allow the dragon population to grow. Currently the island is home to just under 2,000 dragons.

Local authorities are looking to close the island to tourists

 

However, it’s not all bad news for visitors who do want to come and see the creatures up close.

For a start, the ban won’t kick off until January 2020, and is expected to last for one year only.

During the closure, conservationists will review a series of factors including the creatures’ food supplies, the species of plants to be found and the general state of the natural environment.

Meanwhile, tourists will still be able to see Komodo dragons in other spots in Indonesia.

The giant lizards are endangered

 

Komodo Island is actually one of three major islands which form the Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The other two islands are Padar and Rinca, as well as 26 smaller islands forming the archipelago.

The park is inhabited by a population of around 5,700 of the giant lizards, and while Komodo Island is best known for these, you can still go and see them on the other islands.

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