TEMPO.CO, Kupang - The East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) government plans to completely shut down the Komodo National Park from any tourist visitations for a period of one year. The NTT government made the decision as it planned to repopulate the Komodo dragons and deer, which are the komodo’s main prey.
“The NTT government will reorganize and improve the Komodo National Park so that it can further sustain Komodo habitats. We plan to close the park for an entire year,” said NTT Governor Viktor Bungtilu Laiskodat in Kupang on Friday, January 18, 2019.
The governor, however, stopped short of specifying the closure date.
According to the governor, the habitats of the Komodo dragons in West Manggarai regency—located at the edge of Flores Island—have shrunk. The Komodo dragons are observably smaller in size since the deer population has also tumbled.
“The Komodo dragons are not as huge as they used to be because the population of deer, which are their main food, continues to decline following rampant deer theft in the region,” said Viktor.
Viktor said the planned closure also sought to keep the komodo dragons from preying on one another in order to survive.
“Their animal instincts will surface if the food chain is cut. If their main food is abundant, their instincts will be different. That is what motivates the government to temporarily close the area to tourists for a year.”
The reorganization of the komodo area in NTT, he said, was part of the nation’s commitment to safeguarding the endangered, protected species.