Two more chicks have met their doom since last I wrote. Both were mauled by biawak attacks that I fended off too late. By the time I would race to the scene, shovel flailing, I could only succeed in denying the perp a meal, but could not save the lives of the victims. The first time, a chick was dismasted cleanly at the knee-joint. Though the bleeding stopped quickly, a legless chicken’s prospects are bleak: despite my ministrations, it was dead within three days. The second time, the attack was more severe and the chick was clearly without a future. I chose duty over sentiment and put it out of its misery myself.
With one chick left, not the best specimen of the bunch either, I’m left to wonder. Maybe I’m keeping the wrong pets. Nobody likes a loser, and these chickens are clearly losers. Now, the biawak is a fine animal. Just look at him. Sleek, muscular, long purple tongue, interesting scales. It’s true you can’t exactly pet a biawak, but hey, he already lives in the cracks of the foundation beneath my house. I’m already furnishing him with meals. Why don’t I just adopt him and give him a name? Instead of throwing leftover rice to the chicks, I can throw leftover fried chicken to the biawak! How about, “Brutus the Biawak”? Or maybe, “Lazarus the Lizard”? Or perhaps, “Chester the Chicken-Slayer”?
I kid. But these biawaks are some wild customers. A type of monitor lizard related to the fearsome Komodo Dragon of Indonesia, they can grow to large size. You can read about some of my previous encounters with giant biawaks on my property before. Yeah, you got it: Big Lizard in My Backyard. They can survive in urban envrionments by living under people’s houses and using the monsoon drains and open canals for highways. They’ll often sun themselves on the concrete edge of the drain, ready to dive into the sewer water if anyone approaches. They’re a top level predator – as a far as I know, nothing hunts biawaks.
Nothing that is, except people. Non-muslims in Malaysia will dine on biawak, and I’ve even seen them being sold live in a vegetable market in Perak. I’ve heard described by eyewitnesses how they are skinned.
Delicate readers should stop reading now.
The animal is restrained by the head and feet. Then, the skin is carefully cut down the middle of the back and the legs and peeled open from the top. At that point, the butcher will startle the lizard by clapping his hands in front of its face, and the lizard will literally jump out of its own skin. You heard it here first. When I first heard that described, I felt sorry for the lizard. Now that biawaks have been decimating my chickens, let’s just say I’m far less sympathetic.
To my regular readers: So sorry for the downtime! My domain registration expired without notice and it took a bit of doing to get it restored. BGP is not going anywhere and I will now return to my once-every-once-in-a-great-while posting schedule!