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    Every Creeping Thing: True Tales of Faintly Repulsive Wildlife: “Conniff is a splendid writer–fresh, clear, uncondescending, and with never a false step; one can’t resist quoting him.” (NY Times Book Review)

    The Species Seekers:  Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff is “a swashbuckling romp” that “brilliantly evokes that just-before Darwin era” (BBC Focus) and “an enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes” (New Scientist). “This beautifully written book has the verve of an adventure story” (Wall St. Journal)

    Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time by Richard Conniff  is “Hilariously informative…This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.” (Outside magazine) “Field naturalist Conniff’s animal adventures … are so amusing and full color that they burst right off the page …  a quick and intensely pleasurable read.” (Seed magazine) “Conniff’s poetic accounts of giraffes drifting past like sail boats, and his feeble attempts to educate Vervet monkeys on the wonders of tissue paper will leave your heart and sides aching.  An excellent read.” (BBC Focus magazine)

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Shut the Damned Door! Those Are Dragons Out There

Posted by Richard Conniff on February 15, 2013

komodo_dragon
This comes in from CBS News by way of photographer Mark Moffett.  (He and I have been sometime-colleagues at National Geographic, and once spent a couple of weeks together hunting tarantulas in Peru.):
Last year we visited the office HQ at Komodo National Park, dragons resting outside the open door, and noticed that the head ranger sitting at the front desk had a badly scarred leg and arm. Dragons had swarmed into the office two years before and tried to kill him. We were amazed he was still working there, at the same desk in the same room. Guess what…

Komodo dragon wanders into office, attacks two wildlife park employees in Indonesia

CBS NEWS–JAKARTA, Indonesia A park official says two people have been hospitalized after being attacked by a giant komodo dragon that wandered into the office of a wildlife park in eastern Indonesia.

An official at Komodo National Park, Heru Rudiharto, said Wednesday the 6 1/2-foot-long komodo dragon attacked a park ranger after walking into the office on Tuesday. It then attacked another park employee who came to help him. Both were badly bitten and were evacuated to a hospital on Bali Island.

Endangered Komodo dragons can grow longer than 10 feet. Fewer than 4,000 are believed to be alive. They are found in the wild primarily on the eastern Indonesian islands of Komodo, Padar and Rinca.

According to National Geographic, komodo dragons “will eat almost anything, including carrion, deer, pigs, smaller dragons, and even large water buffalo and humans.”

In 2009, two Komodo dragons mauled a fruit-picker to death in eastern Indonesia.

© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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