TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Komodo National Park Board temporarily closed Loh Buaya resort in Rinca Island for tourists after the photo of a komodo dragon lying in front of a construction truck went viral on social media. Loh Buaya is the habitat of komodo dragons on the island.
The closure was noted through an announcement letter No. 816/T.17/TU/EVLP/10/2020 dated October 25, 2020.
"[The letter] is true, for the safety and security of tourists, the projects, and the animals too," said the Labuan Bajo and Flores Tourism Authority (BOPLBF) President Director Shana Fatina Sukarsono in a statement through the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry on Monday, October 26, 2020.
In the letter signed by the BOPLBF head Lukita Awang, the closure of Loh Buaya resort will take place from October 26 until June 23, 2021.
The Board claimed it would evaluate the closure every two weeks, which was aimed to accelerate the construction project of the tourism infrastructure and facilities carried out by the Public Works and Housing Ministry.
Lukita assured that the project would prioritize the safety of komodo dragons and hold briefings for construction workers, officers, and supervisors to prevent work accidents.
Over the last weekend, the viral photo of a komodo dragon versus a construction truck carrying project materials that was first posted by a Twitter account @kawanbaikkomodo raised public concerns over the future of the ancient endemic animal.
FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA