Kawuk is a cryptid native to the Indonesian island of Nusakambangan. It is reported as reptilian creature,  bipedal in stance, and known to attack humans.


Nusakambangan locals knew the Kawuks as vicious corpse eaters. The locals said that Kawuk has the shape like monitor lizard, has four limbs, and carnivorous. Their sense of smell is very strong, just like Komodo dragon. But the difference from those two creature is that Kawuk “stands”, and wildly attack humans on sight. They also exhibits pack-hunting trait, and usually seen when darkness fall. Because of this, locals of the island doesn’t want to store any corpse or carcass of any creature in their home.


As reported by Merdeka News in 2014, Heri, a fisherman and guide of the island, saw the creature with his friends. A pack of Kawuks is tracking his deceased friend’s corpse. Prior to this, one of his friend died near the village of Solok Timur. In the time, it is very late, the corpse has to be moved to a ship so the Kawuks won’t attack them. Because about 10 or so Kawuks has arrived, they hurried to move the corpse.

Reported sightings like this are rare because not many media agency come to the island. Movement of people in and out of the island also controlled by authorities.

The Island

Komodo Dragon

Nusakambangan island is very isolated. At 12000 ha, it only has about 3000 residents, making it sparsely populated. Nusakambangan also dubbed “The Indonesian Alcatraz”, because the island is home of the country’s most guarded prisons. To escape from the prisons might meant almost certain death. This is because the island is mostly virgin jungle with wild animals. Government kept the island as natural reserve.

Electricity in the island is very scarce. Generator has to be turned on when night falls. Village residents usually stay in their home at night. If someone wanted to go out, minimally he/she must carry a Golok (traditional machete) as a form of self defense.


  • From the description of the locals it seems that Kawuk is Velociraptor-like creature.
  • Also, it might be relic non-dromaeosaurid small Theropod.
  • Kawuk might be an undocumented species of monitor lizard, although known monitor lizards don’t have pack hunting traits, and don’t “stand” all the time like Kawuk.
  • Also to be noted, Komodo dragons are usually rather docile to the locals of the island they reside. The locals of Komodo island considers Komodo dragons as their brother from different species. The Kawuks on the other hand, wildly attack humans even though the humans are natives of the island.
    Komodo Standing

    Komodo dragon standing


The Great Indonesian Language Dictionary (KBBI) has an entry for Kawuk. It is simply stated that Kawuk is “Giant monitor lizard from Nusakambangan island”.

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