(A kind of reptile species)

Dong, delicious but endangered

Dong is a lizard like reptile species. You can find them around sand dunes, especially in coastal provinces of Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa & Binh Thuan. The reptile runs away very quickly when faced with danger, so people call it dong, which in Vietnamese means “to sneak out”.

When walking along the coast in Nha Trang or the sand dunes in Phan Thiet, you can see the reptiles run after the steps of tourists & then creep into small caves on dunes. What a beautiful sight!

Dong is a special there, featured in many different dishes ranging from baked dong, steamed dong, grilled chopped dong to dong porridge. Currently, there is an increasing number of small restaurants, especially in Tuy Hoa City, Phu Yen Province, & Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province, that offer dong dishes.

To meet increasing demand, many dong have been caught & sold at markets. In the near future, tourists may not be able to see the reptiles running on the sand dunes because of overhunting.

Because of this, authorities must now create practical plans to protect the reptiles & their local habitat.


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