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Park ranger recovering after being attacked by Komodo dragon in Indonesia

February 23, 2010 |  2:04 pm

Komodo dragons bask in the sun outside a park ranger hut on Rinca Island in the Komodo Islands in 2009.

JAKARTA, Indonesia — An Indonesian park ranger escaped an attack by a Komodo dragon, the world's largest lizard species, when his colleagues heard his cries for help and drove the reptile away.

Marcelinus Subanghadir was outside his hut on Komodo Island late Monday when a nearly 7-foot-long   dragon grabbed hold of his right foot, Komodo National Park chief Tamen Sitorus said.

The dragon had Subanghadir's foot clamped in its shark-like, serrated teeth until fellow rangers heard his screams and drove it off with wooden clubs, Sitorus said.

Subanghadir, 34, suffered deep lacerations and was recovering at a hospital on nearby Bali.

Komodo dragons can be found in the wild only on the eastern Indonesian islands of Komodo, Padar and Rinca. The lizards -- thought to number fewer than 4,000 -- can grow longer than 10 feet and weigh 150 pounds.

An 8-year-old boy was killed by one of the lizards in 2007 on Komodo Island.

-- Associated Press

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Photo: Komodo dragons bask in the sun outside a park ranger hut on Rinca Island in Indonesia in 2009. Credit: Dita Alangkara / Associated Press

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