According to local media reports, Indonesian officials are giving a serious thought about banning tourists from having access to its most popular tourist attraction – Komodo Island, known all over the world for being infested with giant Komodo dragon lizards.
The ban is being contemplated because of the recent series of thefts of these giant lizards by smugglers who have easy access to this island. According to news sources from Indonesia, at least 41 of these giant Komodo Lizards have been smuggled by poachers and have been sold abroad for 500 rupiah each ($35000).
The Indonesian Government’s decision to implement this ban may come into effect from as early as January 2020. Foreign tourists planning to visit Komodo Island in 2020 for experiencing the wildlife at this island may have to consider other alternate wildlife sanctuaries. This move to ban tourist access to the island is aimed at increasing the population of the Komodo dragons and also conserve and preserve their habitat.
It may be noted that The Komodo National Park is one of UNESCO’S listed World Heritage Sites for wildlife and includes the islands of Komodo, Padar and Rinca. The Komodo National Park is home to at least 5000 Komodo dragons.
According to Indonesia’s Tempo newspaper only the entry to Komodo Island will remain closed while the rest of the national park will remain open to tourists.
In the recent years Komodo Island gained a lot of attraction from foreign visitors because of the construction of a new nearby airport and hotels at Labuan Bajo.