Agni (Sanskrit name meaning “fire”) is the newest hatchling of a recently discovered species in Indonesia. He was given the name by members of the initial research team because of his red wing coloring. While local Zoologists (scientists who study and classify animals) are hesitant to use the name “Dragon”, there is an unmistakable resemblance between this new species and the mythical dragons of ancient lore.
Barely a week old, Agni can expect to triple his current size within a month based on his current growth rate. He currently feeds mainly on insects but will soon graduate to small rodents and birds. In 2-3 years it is speculated that only larger animals such as the local Indonesian cattle will be enough to sustain his massive size (about 10-15 thousand pounds).
Adult specimens have remained elusive, although clues of their existence have been spotted in the local region where Agni was found. It is believed that the adults remain in hibernation for most of the year, only emerging occasionally to hunt for food.
The first question one is likely to ask is whether these creatures have the ability to “breathe” fire like the dragons in movies and fairy tales. While no concrete evidence of this is available, it is noted that the region of protected forestland where Agni resides has an unusually high number of “scorch plots” as seen below. A scorch plot is a portion of land, small or large, that has been scorched or burned. Usually they are caused by lightning, but the more frequent presence of these scorched areas in this region indicates another cause.
The story of how this discovery came about starts with the disappearance of about 15 cattle from a ranch that had recently expanded its territory near a protected wildlife habitat.
It was first assumed that the disappearances were due to the activity of large cats roaming out of the protected forestland to find food. But it soon became evident that this was not the case when no feline tracks could be found anywhere in the area.
In fact no tracks of any kind could be found going in or out of the rancher’s territory that would explain the loss of 15 cattle.
The missing cattle could not have left by land. The only explanation left was that they were taken by air. In the absence of a fleet of helicopters to cart them off, the situation seemed an unsolvable mystery until wildlife researchers in the local preserve came across a collection of cattle bones strewn across a walking path.
A scientific investigation was undertaken to get to the bottom of this when the following was discovered along with several other already hatched eggs:
Agni as well as several of his siblings have been found and are undergoing observation by local scientists in their natural habitat in order to gather more information about their behavior and feeding habits.
The search continues for an adult specimen, although with 2 researchers assigned to this project having gone missing already, this appears to be more of a dangerous undertaking than originally anticipated.
No other signs of the missing cattle have been found nor any clues to the exact whereabouts of the adult dragons, although researchers on the project appear determined to continue until the mystery is solved once and for all.
Note: To prevent the unlawful hunting or poaching of these animals and for the protection of the researchers involved, names and specific locations have been omitted.
Dragons. Are they real? Have the mythical creatures of children’s stories been here all along, hiding in the deep jungle under our very noses?
If so, why have they only recently been discovered? Were dragons once abundant and thriving across the globe, only to be hunted into near extinction as ancient tales tell us? If so, why were they hunted? For sport? Or do these creatures represent a threat to mankind?
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