INDONESIA   -    Komodo dragons, owners of razor-sharp teeth and a venomous bite, are native to only one tiny corner of the globe.

Tourists have flocked to see them, and horror films have been inspired by them. Locals even believe they are physically and spiritually related to them.

But this human-lizard relationship may be about to change.

Authorities in Indonesia want to hand Komodo Island back to the dragons. They want to close it to mass tourism, and expel the inhabitants who have lived alongside the earth’s largest lizards for generations.

“It’s called Komodo Island, so it’s for the Komodo not for humans. There will be no human rights there, only animal rights,” says the region’s governor, Viktor Bungtilu Laiskodat.

He wants the Unesco World Heritage site to be closed for a year in 2020, and then become a more exclusive place for just a relative handful of wealthy visitors. And he wants the islanders to be moved off it forever.

The Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry in Jakarta, which manages the national park, is currently reviewing the governor’s proposal.

The dragons certainly have more sightseers than they did when European explorers first visited the island in the early 20th Century. There were approximately 176,000 visitors to Komodo National Park last year.