Monday, June 09, 2008

Rescued Divers Fought Off Komodo Dragons With Rocks

The rescued divers have been telling the tale of how they had to fight off curious Komodo Dragons by hurling rocks at them. There's a lot of coverage around the web about this story, including this one at the Mirror.com.
Last night - just hours after being rescued from a remote Indonesian island - they told how they:

Clung to a piece of driftwood for nine hours as they drifted more than 20 miles in shark-infested seas.

Hauled themselves exhausted on to a remote island...only to find themselves confronted by giant lizards known as komodo dragons.

Fought off one of the beasts - which theoretically could kill with its venom - by hurling rocks at it.
The BBC News page has a pretty decent article called How dangerous is a Komodo dragon?
"They will eat anything that washes up on the beach. That's why these people would have been in danger. When you have animals on the brink of starvation they will be very aggressive and humans are not very powerful.

In the wild they are very dangerous and would attack humans unprovoked. They bite their prey and their saliva has 80 strains of bacteria. They then wait two days for it to die and feast as a group on the kill

"If you have a couple of people throwing stones or sticks, that can work as long as you are only dealing with one or two [dragons]. They were in danger but they did the right thing.
And BBC Radio's Today show has an audio piece on the story.

1 comment:

Mosher said...

I just emailed the "journalist" responsible for the mess of an article spat out by the Mirror:

"Just a quick comment regarding the story publish on the mirror's website regarding the divers who were found in Indonesia. The Komodo dragon cannot realistically "theoretically ... kill with its venom" as it's venom is far too weak. It's mouth is a breeding-ground for a huge amount of bacteria which it transfers into bite wounds. The victim will likely die from bacterial infection/septicemia (taking up to a week), not by poisoning. The venom can cause localised discomfort and pain, lasting several hours, but it highly unlikely to cause death."

All I ask for is some accuracy in my newspapers. That's why I don't read any of them.