A tourist from Singapore who was bitten by a Komodo dragon in East Nusa Tenggara is reported to be in stable condition while recovering from his injuries in hospital on the island of Flores.
The man from Singapore has been undergoing treatment at Siloam General Hospital in Labuan Bajo and is making a steady recovery, according to the hospital’s public relations officer, Aris.
“He is in a stable condition, conscious and able to communicate well,” he told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
“The medical team continues to monitor the patient’s progress and observe him until he is in good condition,” he explained.
In a separate statement, the Head of Komodo National Park, named Sudiyono, said he was also monitoring the condition of the Singaporean tourist.
The man was bitten whilst attempting to take photographs of a dragon that was feeding on a goat in a graveyard, away from the usual area designated safe for tourists. He had not seen the second lizard approaching him from behind and was bitten just below the knee on his left leg.
He was immediately rescued from the scene by locals, who rushed him to an aid centre for initial treatment, before being taken to the Siloam General Hospital using a military speed boat. He had reportedly ignored earlier warnings not to get too close to the animals.
Sudiyono’s statement echoed these warnings, as he took the opportunity to remind tourists of the dangers presented by these large, wild predators: “he must have been too close. A Komodo doesn’t like to be disturbed when eating,” Sudiyono told The Jakarta Post.
The Singaporean had reportedly stayed with locals for three days to save costs, and was exploring the island without a guide.
“I also appeal to all tourists to take guides with you when wandering around to see Komodo dragons. Never risk your safety by staying with locals and watching Komodos without an official guide only for the sake of your budget,” Sudiyono said.
The incident marked the first case of human being bitten by the giant lizard in at least five years. According to Komodo National Park authorities, komodo dragons have bitten thirty people since 1974, five of whom later died from their injuries.