The Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry on Tuesday sought to calm outrage over construction of an island tourism project being dubbed “Jurassic Park,” after an image went viral on social media of a Komodo dragon facing off against a big truck.
The picture of the dragon, one of the world’s largest lizards, blocking the path of a big vehicle on Indonesia’s Rinca Island prompted an outpouring of anger about perceived threats to the natural habitat of the vulnerable species.
Reuters was not able to verify the authenticity of the picture.
Wiratno, a senior ministry official, said that rangers would ensure the safety of dragons roaming near the construction, which would include an elevated deck, a dam and an information center, to be completed in June next year.
“They will intensively make checks of whether the Komodo dragons are under the buildings, remnants of buildings, and under the trucks carrying material,” he said in a statement.
Indonesia’s Komodo population is about 3,000, government data showed.
The project, which involves the Indonesian Ministry of Public Works and Housing, seeks to cater to visitors of the Komodo National Park, where the Komodos can be seen in the wild.
Social media users have likened the project to one on a dinosaur island featured in the Jurassic Park films.
The public works ministry in a statement on Monday also assured the safety of the Komodos, but environmentalists said that the construction must stop.
“Komodo needs to be the main priority. They need to be protected in a designated area,” said Umbu Wulang Tanaamahu Paranggi, director of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) in East Nusa Tenggara. “What’s going on now is a destruction of the dragons’ living spaces.”
‘SPIKES’: Rudy Giuliani at a hearing asked about voting data in Pennsylvania, with a witness saying that 570,000 votes they selected were for Biden and 3,200 for Trump US president-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday said that Americans “won’t stand” for attempts to derail the US election outcome, as US President Donald Trump called for results to be overturned. Biden said in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, that Americans “have full and fair and free elections, and then we honor the results.” “The people of this nation and the laws of the land won’t stand for anything else,” he said. However, Trump is challenging the results, with lawsuits under way in several states. “We have to turn the election over,” he told a hearing in Pennsylvania. “This election was rigged.” “All we need is
Hundreds of flights at one of China’s busiest airports were canceled yesterday as Shanghai raced to bring a local COVID-19 outbreak under control. Health officials have tested thousands of staff at Pudong International Airport since a small cluster of COVID-19 cases in the city was linked to several cargo handlers. China — where the virus first emerged late last year — has largely brought the COVID-19 pandemic under control through travel restrictions and lockdowns, but it is now battling a number of domestic outbreaks in different cities. Shanghai has reported seven local infections linked to the airport this month, with most cases found
For thousands of years, the dainty Fritillaria delavayi has grown slowly on the rocky slopes of the Hengduan mountains in China, producing a bright green flower after its fifth year. The conspicuous small plant has one deadly enemy: people, who harvest the flower for traditional Chinese medicine. As commercial harvesting has intensified, Fritillaria delavayi has vanished — by rapidly evolving to produce gray and brown leaves and flowers that cannot be so easily seen by pickers. Scientists have discovered that the color of the plant’s leaves has become more camouflaged — matching the background rocks on which they grow — in areas where
‘OCEAN OF STORMS’: The Chang’e 5 seeks to collect about 5kg of samples from a previously unvisited area in a massive lava plain, known as Oceanus Procellarum China plans to launch an uncrewed spacecraft to the moon this week to bring back lunar rocks in the first attempt by any nation to retrieve samples from Earth’s natural satellite since the 1970s. The Chang’e 5 probe, named after the ancient Chinese goddess of the moon, would seek to collect material that could help scientists understand the moon’s origins and formation. The mission would test China’s ability to remotely acquire samples from space, ahead of more complex missions. If successful, the mission will make China only the third country to have retrieved lunar samples, following the US and the Soviet Union decades