World's largest crocodile dies in Philippines

The world's largest saltwater crocodile in captivity has died in the Philippines, 17 months after the suspected man-eater was hunted down and put on display for tourists, according to his caretakers.

"Lolong", who measured 6.17 metres (20.24 feet), died on Sunday night from a mystery illness inside his small enclosure in Bunawan, a backwater town in the country's remote south.

"This is a very, very sad day for us. He had brought fame to our town. We are now thinking of having his remains preserved," town spokeswoman Welinda Elorde told AFP on Monday.

A government-sanctioned hunting party caught Lolong in a sprawling marsh close to Bunawan in September 2011 after it was suspected of biting the head off a young school girl and of eating a fisherman.

Its capture made the town famous and Lolong, named after a local crocodile hunter, became a big tourist attraction.

But it also put the spotlight on the plight of the crocodiles in the Philippines' remote marshes and rivers, as human habitation increasingly put them in conflict with the animals.

Animal rights groups also demanded Lolong be released back into the wild, arguing that the pen that held him was too small and stressful for an animal used to roaming great distances.

But Elorde said caretakers tried to give Lolong everything he needed in captivity, and that releasing him would have left him in the mercy of villagers who would hunt and kill him.

"We tried to give him the best place we could," she said.

The Philippine Star newspaper reported Monday that Lolong had been ailing since swallowing a cord three weeks ago, a claim Elorde denied.

"We have been alternately feeding him with meat and poultry, and there was no way he could have eaten anything other than that," she said.

The Guinness Book of World Records last year officially declared Lolong the largest crocodile of its kind in captivity.

It dislodged Cassius, a 5.48-metre crocodile kept in a park on an island off Australia's Queensland as the previous record holder.

Lolong belonged to the species Crocodylus Porosus, or the Indo-Pacific crocodile, the world's largest reptile, which experts say can live up to a century.

While not on the brink of extinction globally, it is critically endangered in the Philippines, where it is hunted for its hide.

See photos:

Click image to see more of 'Lolong'
1 / 6
Associated Press
Mon, Jul 2, 2012 10:00 PM PHT
Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ‘Next leader must not be newbie’
    ‘Next leader must not be newbie’

    Vice President Jejomar Binay believes the next president of the Philippines must have vast experience and a long track record in governance and in dealing with crises. “I am very much convinced that the local government is the best training ground for those who want to run for national government positions,” he said. Binay said he is determined to run for president in 2016 on the strength of his competence and track record. …

  • Massacre suspect tests negative for poisoning
    Massacre suspect tests negative for poisoning

    A suspect in the Maguindanao massacre case who had been examined at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) tested negative for poisoning, medical records released yesterday showed. However, the Quezon City court handling the multiple murder case resolved to isolate Police Officer 1 Pia Kamidon from the rest of the accused detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig for his safety. In a two-page order, Regional Trial Court Branch 221 assisting Judge Genie Gapas-Agbada ordered jail officials to …

  • ‘Homework first before Facebook’
    ‘Homework first before Facebook’

    President Aquino elicited laughter from students here as he reminded them to open books first before Facebook. “Finish your assignments first before making a raid in the Clash of Clans,” Aquino said, referring to a popular online game. In a speech during the turnover yesterday of two new three-story buildings at the Tarlac National High School, he said the government could only provide opportunities for learning but the rest of the work would be up to the students. The new school buildings …

  • Espina resignation confirmed; Noy looks for replacement
    Espina resignation confirmed; Noy looks for replacement

    President Aquino ended speculations yesterday and confirmed that Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina had indeed resigned as officer-in-charge of the Philippine National Police. As of this time, we are conducting various interviews and checks on the various candidates,” Aquino told reporters at the Tarlac National High School in Tarlac City. Aquino had kind words for Espina, saying that he stood by and defended the 44 slain police Special Action Force (SAF) commandos in the operation in …

  • Palace welcomes G7 concern over sea reclamation
    Palace welcomes G7 concern over sea reclamation

    President Aquino welcomed yesterday the Group of Seven industrialized countries’ expression of concern over rising tension in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, calling it a clear indication of the global scope of the problem ramped up by China’s massive reclamation activities in disputed waters. In Tarlac City where he led the turnover of new classrooms, Aquino told reporters that goodwill and not tension must prevail in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, where territorial …

  • DepEd, TESDA tie up for K to 12
    DepEd, TESDA tie up for K to 12

    The Department of Education (DepEd) has partnered with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the first two years of implementation of the K to 12 program. “We will use TESDA centers as technical-vocational laboratories for senior high school,” DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro said during the inauguration of 30 new classrooms at the Tarlac National High School yesterday. The classrooms were constructed in partnership with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. …

  • SE Asia Stocks-Philippine falls on foreign selling; others flat to weaker

    BANGKOK, April 17 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets ended flat to weaker on Friday as Philippine stocks slid on selling led by foreign funds and Singapore shares extended losses with investors ... …

  • Philippine Airlines parent says back in black
    Philippine Airlines parent says back in black

    Philippine Airlines' parent firm said it had returned to profitability, the first time in three years either entity reported being in the black for an entire year. In a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange Thursday, PAL Holdings reported an after-tax net profit of 129.74 million pesos ($2.93 million) in its fiscal year to December 31. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options