Daft reasoning is always infuriating, so I was shocked to read that the government plans to move 10 Komodo dragons to Bali from their natural habitat in order to “save them from extinction”.
(It has got nothing, of course, to do with the fact that the 10 Komodo dragons would be placed at the Bali Safari Park where guests are charged Rp85,000 for admission - or US$ 59 if they wise to tour the zoo on an elephant).
According to the minister for Tourism and Culture:
The forestry ministry was planning to have a Komodo dragon breeding ground in Bali because in their present habitat there was not enough food for them…
Tens of Komodo dragons used to live on an isle in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, but now only 16 of them remained.
I mean, how can we be saving the komodo dragons “from extinction” if we are simply moving them to a zoo instead of taking measures to preserve their natural habitat so they can actually survive in the wild?
The other bizarre aspect of the proposed move is that the natural habitat of Bali is completely different from that of Flores and the other small islands where the komodo dragons live. This was noted by Alfred Wallace, who came up with a boundary known as the Wallace Line, which runs between Bali and Lombok, showing that each island is its own zoogeographical region with different animals and plants.
Move the Komodo dragons to Bali?
We might as well send them packing to New York!
Note: Komodo dragons are the world’s largest lizard and can only be found on the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, and Gili Motang in Indonesia. Their huge size owes to something scientists call island gigantism, a biological phenomenon where the size of animals isolated on an island increases dramatically over generations. I took the picture of the Komodo dragon below at the Taman Safari Zoo!