'It took less than a second, and I only saw its shadow', says Singaporean bitten by Komodo dragon

Mr Loh Lee Aik just wanted a good photo of a Komodo dragon, but was bitten by one instead.
Mr Loh Lee Aik just wanted a good photo of a Komodo dragon, but was bitten by one instead.PHOTO: LOH LEE AIK
Mr Loh Lee Aik after he was bitten by a Komodo dragon.
Mr Loh Lee Aik after he was bitten by a Komodo dragon.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/FLOBAMORATA@RANTAU
He was taken to Flores Hospital on a nearby island after being bitten on May 3, 2017.
He was taken to Flores Hospital on a nearby island after being bitten on May 3, 2017.PHOTO: LOH LEE AIK
Mr Loh needed 43 stitches on his calf.
Mr Loh needed 43 stitches on his calf.PHOTO: LOH LEE AIK
A Komodo dragon, the largest lizard in the world.
A Komodo dragon, the largest lizard in the world. PHOTO: THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

SINGAPORE - He was just trying to get a good picture of a Komodo dragon when he decided to venture out on his own to look for them, said Mr Loh Lee Aik, 68, the Singaporean man who made headlines when he got bitten by one of the giant lizards.

And it was while he was taking photos that one of the dragons attacked him from behind.

"It took less than a second, and I only saw its shadow," he said in an interview with Lianhe Wanbao.

He needed 43 stitches to mend the wound on his left calf, he told the Chinese evening daily.

Mr Loh, an avid photographer, said he went searching for the giant lizards after being shown some "lifeless" ones by a tour guide.

On May 2, a tour guide took him to Komodo National Park to see some of the lizards, but they were fed regularly and used to humans.

As he went back to their lodging, he came across a wild Komodo dragon that was chewing on a goat but it ran away before he could whip out his camera.

Disappointed, Mr Loh got up early the next morning to seek out the animals, but did not see any.

He then climbed on a hill to get a few shots of the scenery.

"I was a little worried that there would be Komodo dragons on the hunt nearby," he said. "But the grass was not long, and I thought they would not be hard to detect."

But while he was taking photos, a large lizard suddenly came up and bit him in the calf. Blood immediately started gushing from his leg.

He hopped on one leg back to the village, which was about 200m away.

There was no doctor, so they sent him to be patched up by the village's midwife. She washed the wound and sewed it up without anaesthesia.

He was given the 43 stitches at the Flores hospital on a nearby island.

Mr Loh said he didn't think it was a big deal, and did not expect all this attention but many people came to the hospital to interview him and take his photo, he said.

He did not even tell his children, but they found out about it from news reports, he said.