Lolong the Giant Crocodile Captured in Philippines
A giant saltwater crocodile with 6.4 meters long and weighing over a 1000 kilos, suspected of attacking people and livestock, was captured in the southern Philippines by local authorities. The animal has killed a farmer in July and devoured several buffaloes near the village of Bunawan on the island of Mindanao, said the crocodile hunter Suiller Rollie.
The crocodile was named Lolong after one of the veteran crocodile hunters, Ernesto "Lolong" Goloran Cañete, who led the hunt by the Palawan Crocodile and Wildlife Reservation Center.
After several weeks of stalking the giant crocodile, the hunt took its toll on Cañete's health and he died of a heart attack few days before the capture.
The Philippine Ministry of Environment also attributed to the animal now captured the death of a girl of 12 years in 2009. Bunawan is a city with 30,000 inhabitants, built on a marshy plain near a river and the sea.
Lolong In the Guinness World Records as the world's largest
The animal is one of the largest ever caught, said Josefina de Leon, chief of the Division of Wild Fauna and Flora of the Ministry of Environment. "According to information gathered, until now, the biggest crocodile caught, was 5.48 meters long," he said. The crocodile is a male over 50 years, according to Rollie Sumiller. "It's the greatest ever captured on a 20-year career," said the hunter.
Back in November 2011 the Australian crocodile expert Dr. Adam Britton of National Geographic sedated and measured the crocodile and confirmed Lolong as the world's longest crocodile ever caught and placed in captivity.
According to the Guinness Book, the largest crocodile in captivity is a marine specimen of 5.40 meters, Cassius, which is in a natural park near Cairns (northeastern Australia). The press also released information about an animal of 6.2 meters, captured and killed in Papua New Guinea in 1982, having been measured after the skin has been removed.
"Local people are relieved. However, we are not certain that this is the crocodile, that has bee attacking humans, as there are many other crocodiles in the region," warned Sumiller.
The giant crocodile will be delivered to a natural park, according to the mayor of Bunawan, Edwin Cox Elordi. "He will be the superstar of the park," said the hunter.
Bunawan made Lolong the main atraction of an ecotourism park for species found in the marshlands near the township. Mayor Elorde said, "We will take care of this crocodile because this will boost our tourism and we know it can help in terms of town's income and jobs to our village communities."
The exhibit was opened to the public on September 2011 in the Bunawan Ecopark and Wildlife Reservation Center in Barangay. However the giant crocodile was kept in an poor condition enclosure.
Lolong died inside his enclosure at around 8 pm on 10 February 2013. The necropsy revealed that the giant crocodile died of pneumonia and cardiac arrest, which was aggravated by a fungus infection and stress. His remains were to be preserved by taxidermy.
The saltwater crocodile, which lives in coastal regions and that stands up well to both saltwater and freshwater, is the largest reptile in the world.
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