Once again, I now publicly declare myself as a typical city person. It is not about me not having to see a biawak (Monitor lizard) in my life before. It was about that biawak on that same tree for more than twenty four hours in this such awkward position...
This photo was taken at night, low flash
...until I pressed the panic button ... Silly me. Yes, you will agree with me after reading this... click on please
On this day (Day 1) at 8:00am:
A tourist staying in a resort took a picture of this biawak hanging in the mid-section of a tree.
Day 1 at 7:00pm:
I was informed by the tourist about this biawak and he told me that the biawak was on the same tree since morning. He was asking about the awkward foreleg. It was motionless.
Day 1 at 9:15pm:
The biawak was still on that same tree. Two other tourists joined me watching it in the dark. It moved! Yippee! It was moving its head away from my strong torchlight which was shining towards it. Great! it was still alive.
My action taken:
Informed the manager of the resort to get help from the Wildlife Department.
Day 2 at 11:30am:
Followed up with the manager with a call if the Wildlife Department was contacted. Yes, it was contacted and the Wildlife people suggested to use a long stick to push the biawak off the tree. No one knows what happened next.
Day 3 at 10:00am:
I returned to the resort to check the tree if the biawak was still there. Another manager informed me that the tourists complained to the big boss of the resort that the biawak was still left hanging on the tree on Day 2. The staff went to the tree, had a look and reported that the biawak was happily sitting there. Well, this biawak was not on the tree now and no one knew what happened to it.
Today (Day 3) at 1:30pm:
Over our plates of char koay teow, I asked my pet expert friend, Jeff, if it is normal for a biawak to stay up on a tree for more than twenty four hours. To my surprise, he said "Yes".
And then I saw this coming from Jeff. It was a huge roaring laugh smacked on my face.
Ok! OK! I have never seen a biawak stayed up on a tree for so long. Unlike Jeff, he has seen biawak doing such in his kampung house. From Jeff's observation, a biawak in his garden would stayed up on the same spot for days, usually to wait for prey, to hide away from predator or being lazy after having a large meal. Then he said, "No wonder my kittens went missing".
I bet the resort staff would laugh at me now... gee... I never said that I am a wildlife expert or a biologist anyway.
Finally, Jeff admitted that a long time ago he had the similar thoughts like me when he saw a biawak in such condition. He was proven by a vet that the biawak he encountered was not dead. The vet set up a video camera and it recorded the biawak moved away after four days.
Jeff corrected me by explaining the actual position of a biawak stuck on a tree. If the biawak's body is on the tree with its head and all the limbs hanging in the air, that would mean the biawak is STUCK for real! For this case as shown on my pictures, this fella was just hanging out.
An unexpected wildlife education for me over a plate of char koay teow. Not bad, huh? Hey, Jeff, I googled for facts related to this experience as you suggested. I cannot find any. Perhaps you can google this for me then.
Gee... I have to spend more time in the "kampung" life now and Damn! I was tricked by a biawak.
Biawak curry, anyone?
Before I left the resort, I greeted my little darling here, for she will never trick me by hanging out on a tree like this.
A lovely female Colugo
One more last note, Jeff. Now you know a Colugo is a mammal. We are even...muahaha! But seriously, thank you for the free education, Jeff!