JAKARTA — Indonesia’s environment ministry 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 with 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 environment ministry official, said rangers would ensure the safety of dragons roaming near the construction, which will include an elevated deck, a dam and an information center, to be completed in June.
“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 current Komodo population is about 3,000, according to government data.
Komodo dragons reach up to 10 feet (3 meters) long, have curved and serrated teeth, a yellow forked tongue, strong limbs and a long tail.
They can take down prey as big as a water buffalo with a single venomous bite.