The Biawak returns [See the first appearance]! Late this afternoon, as maghrib approached, my wife heard a rustling in the back yard. About five feet from our back stoop was an enormous biawak, apparently stalking a young cat sitting atop our recyclables. I rushed to get my camera, but it was on to me and made for the jungle. It would have gotten away, except it ran to the corner of the fence that I had recently reclaimed and propped back up [See The Yard: Adventures in Tropical Horticulture]. Trapped, it started ramming the fence.

The pictures are crummy because it was getting dark, but if you click on the image, you make it out pretty well.

It even managed to climb halfway up the fence I share with my neighbors, a bunch of single Chinese guys. It would have surely met its doom if it had succeeded, because three of them had emerged from the house with a parang, a cangkol and the ultimate multipurpose Malaysian tool, a length of belian. Biawak is good eatin’, I’ve heard, and they might have eaten well if that was their intention, because this thing was well over four feet long, and thick in the middle. But it couldn’t scale the fence, and after dropping back down, it was scared enough to run straight in my direction along the fence till it reached the downed portion, and clambered off into the jungle. I may have to delay my plan to get a few chickens until the fence is fully functional. I don’t know if the biawak would’ve taken out the cat or not, but chickens are a definite staple of the diet for any biawak living close to humans.

Published by bingregory

Official organ of an American Muslim in Malaysian Borneo, featuring plants, pantuns and pictures from the Malay archipelago. Oversharing since 2002.

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  1. in redford we had ground hogs rember them? my mom thinks there is a wild dog out there whos ash eaten some em. chanol

  2. The pictures of plants are cool and everything Big Brother, but we want more pictures of the kids!
    Love and miss you.

  3. The biawak reminds me of the igaunas that inhabited St Thomas USVI when we were students there in the 70s. They would scamper outalong the long branches of the canopy trees until the branch became too slender to support their weight, then they would crash on through to the ground an lie there stunned for a moment. I captured one that way by setting a trash can over it while it lay there. If cornered, they would face you and open and close their mouth and thrash their tail back and forth in a way reminiscent of a wind-up toy, more comical than threatening but I never put them to the test at that point. They were about 5 pounds and 2 feet long, hals of that tail. Rumor had it you could eat them, most of the meat was the base of the tail, which is theway it is for alligators according to a gut I used to work with at the Detroit Zoo who had eaten ‘gators growing up poor in South Carolina.

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