The Jakarta Post
A police investigation has found that Ende Port in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) was among the planned routes for smuggling 41 Komodo dragon babies out of the country, Adj. Comr. Julisa Kusumawardono, the head of the West Manggarai Police, told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
As a consequence, the security at the port, which is on the south side of Flores Island, has been tightened.
The investigation was launched following following the uncovering last week of a network in Surabaya, East Java, allegedly attempting to smuggle 41 young Komodo dragons overseas.
Security measures at Labuan Bajo Port, which is the entry and exit point at West Manggarai, West Flores, and at Sape Port in Bima, West Nusa Tenggara, have also been tightened.
“The security at Labuan Bajo has been increased by the West Manggarai Police in coordination with related agencies such as the Syahbandar Labuan Bajo Port authorities,” she said.
NTT Police and the management of Komodo National Park in West Manggarai, have agreed to conduct joint patrols in the park.
“This is important for anticipating attempts to smuggle Komodo [dragons] from Komodo National Park,” Julisa said.
The Komodo dragon is one of the most endangered species in the world. Komodo National Park in East Nusa Tenggara is the only place in the world where people can see the dragons in their natural habitat. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage site.(gsa)