Four days after moving into my home in Kuching, I met my first biawak, lounging on my front porch. Over the last 12 years, they have been a constant presence, stalking kittens and slaughtering chickens from the littlest chicks to the largest hens.  (Well, perhaps not so large: I’ve been raising ayam katik.)

Not without resistance!

I have given chase, struck blows, saved lives. On one terrible occasion I could not prevent a biawak from clipping a chick’s leg clean off, but I denied it the meal. I would scare them off but I couldn’t keep them away.  Before long I’d see one sunning himself by the biawak superhighway – a.k.a. the [tooltip text=”monsoon drain” trigger=”hover”]longkang[/tooltip].

But this time!  This time, victory was mine.  The day was won when the biawak took a wrong turn through the gate. It’s head got through but it’s legs were stuck. Pinned there, I was able to deliver the blow.  Several blows. More blows than I could possibly have imagined.  They are miniature dragons is what they are and my cangkul just could not cut through the tough scaly hide. I had to bludgeon it to death, sadly.

I’m no hunter. I took no pleasure in the kill.  But after feeding it a steady supply of chicken all these years I did feel justified.

I tried finding a buyer for the meat but no luck. Instead I buried it near my new ketapang. With bio-biawak fertilizer the tree has been growing very well since.


After all that effort, you would hope to achieve a deterrent effect on the remaining biawak population. I spotted another one in the yard not three days later.

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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