Komodo Dragon by artists Gillie and Marc

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NAME
Dylan Ray

TITLE
Love The Komodo Dragon

GENDER
Male

AGE
33

FOUND
Indonesia

CONSERVATION STATUS
Vulnerable

At 33-years-old, this Komodo dragon is middle-aged. He is happy in her warm home, roaming around his protected island in search of food or simply just relaxing in the shade. He is so glad that people were able to see the beauty in him, even if he may look a bit different, and decide to protect him. He is so grateful for what they have done and hopes that her kind will flourish with their support.

Found only in Indonesia, mainly on the Komodo Island, the Komodo dragon laze in the warm sun. The largest lizard in the world, it grows to an average of 2-3 meters long and weighs about 70 kg. They are quite bizarre creatures with 60 serrated teeth that are constantly replacing themselves and saliva tinged with blood. They have nostrils that are not very good at smelling things. Instead, their skin has sensory plaques that connect to nerves which helps them have a sense of touch. Their skin also acts as a kind of armour with bony deposits which develop with age. Acting like the rings of a tree, you can tell the age of a dragon by looking at this.

They eat meat, mainly carrion but can hunt and ambush prey, even standing on their hind legs to catch out an out of reach lunch or using their large tail to knock down a larger animal. They also have a venomous bite which can be fatal. When a Komodo dragon bites their prey, all they have to do is follow them until they eventually die. Because their metabolism is so slow, they don’t need to eat much and can survive on 12 meals per year. That being said, they can eat 80% of their body weight in one go. They also can’t suck or lap up water. To drink they take a mouthful of water then throw their head back to allow it to run down their throat.

Komodo dragons can reproduce in two ways. They can form monogamous pairs, very unusual for lizards. But they can also produce offspring through parthenogenesis, a type of asexual reproduction where she would lay unfertilised eggs. A female Komodo dragon will lay around 20 eggs at a time which she lays into abandoned nests of the megapode, a local chicken-like bird. The eggs incubate for 7-8 months to hatch out in a time when insects are plentiful. The babies will climb into the safety of trees to avoid any predators, including adult Komodo dragons who would eat them if they had the chance.

The good news for the Komodo dragon, the Indonesian government recognised the dangers humans posed to this creature and moved to protect them, creating the Komodo National Park in 1980. But there are still many threats. Volcanic activity, earthquakes, loss of habitat, tourism, and poaching both of prey and the dragons themselves are all an issue. Despite it being illegal to trade any part of the dragon there are still cases. In 2019, a criminal network was caught trying to smuggle 41 young dragons out of the country.

HOW TO HELP 
Based off real animals that Gillie and Marc met while travelling, the public will be able to meet individual animals. 

With public art, more people will come into contact with these sculptures, will stop and consider them, will take a photograph, and will discuss this with their friends and family. Through this increased exposure, the message of love, family, and conservation will be spread much further than any piece of art in a gallery ever could. It will bring people into close contact and will help them to fall in love. With love comes a greater urge to want to create a change and save all endangered animals. 

​The sculpture will be aligned with the hashtags #LoveTheLast to raise unparalleled awareness about the sculpture’s cause across the globe.

To help protect these animals, please donate to the WWF: https://www.wwf.sg/

PARTNER


WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. As one of WWF’s international hubs, WWF-Singapore supports a global network spanning over 100 countries. We work to meet key conservation goals, such as deforestation, haze pollution, food security, sustainable finance, sustainable consumption and illegal wildlife trade.

ABOUT GILLIE AND MARC
Gillie and Marc’s highly coveted public artworks can be found worldwide including in New York, London, Singapore, Shanghai, and Sydney. They are Archibald Prize finalists, won the Chianciano Biennale in Italy, took out the Allens People’s Choice Award in 2016 and 2018 and Kids’ Choice Award in the 2016 Sculpture by the Sea and received the Bayside Arts Festival People's Choice Award in 2019 in Sydney.

The husband-and-wife duo are on a mission to make art for a better tomorrow. They are best known for their beloved characters, Rabbitwoman and Dogman, who tell the autobiographical tale of two opposites coming together as best friends and soul mates.

Gillie and Marc are also passionate eco-warriors and have dedicated their lives to protecting nature.

Gillie grew up with the wildlife in Zambia and Marc studied chimpanzees in Tanzania as a young man. Over time, the artists developed a deep appreciation for all living things and a desire to preserve the magnificence of the natural world. 

Through their art, Gillie and Marc aim to transform passive audiences into passionate advocates for animal conservation. Their mission is to use their work as a platform to continue spreading awareness about endangerment, which will ultimately lead to change and save species from extinction.

Their art has raised hundreds of thousands in donations for the many wildlife charities and causes they support through their project Love The Last.

Please follow @gillieandmarcart 

If you are interested in buying art related to the Love the Last March, you will also be directly helping real animals in the wild, with 30% of sales going to WWF to continue their fantastic work for animal conservation.Click here to browse art > https://gillieandmarc.com/collections/love-the-last-march

SPONSORED BY

Mark Gavin
Michael Gavin
Carolyn Stubbs
James Brownsea