Forest dragon

We are stumbling through dense jungle vegetation trying to get back to camp before daylight fades. I keep my eyes peeled to the ground—on the lookout for both leeches and snakes. Then I look up and see the most amazing creature: A real life dragon. OK, OK, so what if it’s squirrel-sized? This spiky iguana-like lizard has the wicked appearance of a Medieval monster. I especially love the double horns on the head and the open-throat threat display. And good thing it’s not the size of the legendary beasts. Otherwise it might give St. George a run for his money. This lizard is known by the scientific community as Acanthosaura nataliae. My guides called it a dragon lizard. It’s only found in Vietnam, Laos, and a small corner of Cambodia. This is the first time I’ve come across it in the forest and I feel very lucky to have seen it. It’s always nice when the jungle rewards you with such a spectacular encounter.

Dragon lizard
Dragon lizard


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