Sir David Attenborough recalls his struggle to get a Komodo dragon to London Zoo

Sir David Attenborough has reminisced about the first time he saw a Komodo dragon - more than half a century ago.

The BBC broadcaster was filming in Indonesia as part of the Zoo Quest series in the 1950s when he had his first encounter with the lizard.

Sir David Attenborough
Sir David Attenborough (Yui Mok/PA)

During a visit to ZSL London Zoo on Tuesday where the Komodo dragon enclosure has been renamed in his honour, the veteran presenter told the Press Association: "We had quite an adventurous time getting there."

The 90-year-old explained the main objective of the trip was to collect a Komodo dragon and bring it back to London Zoo.

However, the team was not given permission by central government to bring it back.

Ganas, a six year old Komodo dragon
Ganas, a six year old Komodo dragon (Yui Mok)

Sir David said: "The amusing thing was, back in those days, people in Indonesia didn't know about the Komodo.

"At the time really it was a little-known animal, and had never been seen on television, no filming had been done of it, and no zoo had it."

Sir David Attenborough speaking during his visit to London Zoo, where they have officially renamed its Komodo dragon enclosure 'The Attenborough Komodo Dragon House'
Sir David Attenborough speaking during his visit to London Zoo (Yui Mok/PA)

Sir David said that when he wanted to bring one back, the authorities said: "Oh no, if it is as wonderful as that you mustn't collect it."

He said it was a "great delight" to see a Komodo dragon at London Zoo.

He added: "It is nice to see there is one here now doing very well."

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