Twice since starting this trip I have had encounters with monitor lizards. The first time I was walking along the boardwalk in Malacca and glancing to my right I stopped dead in my tracks. I thought I was going to pee myself! At first I thought I was seeing an alligator charging down the road, then I decided it looked like a mini komodo dragon. I was looking for a place to run in case the thing saw me and decided to have me for lunch. All he really wanted was to get back in the water. I finally managed to get my camera up and got a shot of his tail as he slivered into the waterway.
A few feet further along there was this small one sunning himself. I figured this must be one of the kids.
Then, yesterday I was coming back from the rice fields here in Ubud when these three guys walked past me. Next thing I know I’m looking at the middle guy swinging this dead monitor lizard around like it was nothing. Notice the gun in the other guys hand. Again, I was totally taken aback, but I was able to get the camera and get this shot before they disappeared between two walls.
I did do a bit of research and it seems that there is a demand for monitor lizards from some of the local Balinese restaurants, and there is some demand from the local shops for their skins. I hope I don’t find either!
It’s encounters like these that make traveling so interesting, and add a bit of mystery. I’m still wondering exactly what they did with their trophy…sold him, ate him, or a bit of both. Only they know for sure…
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