Komodo dragons are vulnerable, and believed to number about 3,000. They are primarily found on a few islands in Indonesia, especially Komodo, home to the Komodo National Park, which is a sanctuary for the species. Komodo dragons were unknown in the Western world until 1910. One 1926 expedition to Komodo to uncover specimens helped inspire the original 1933 King Kong film.
Komodo dragons can be dangerous to humans, though attacks are rare. Their bite was long believed to be toxic due to bacteria in their saliva. However, recent research has indicated that they possess actual venom glands that contain proteins that help them bring down prey.