Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lolong, The Monster Crocodile Of The Philippines

A man-eating beast feared by locals, has set a Guinness Book of World Records mark as the world's largest saltwater crocodile in captivity. Reptile measuring 6.17 metres (20.24 feet) and weighs more than a ton, thought to have killed several people, before its capture by officials in the southern Philippines town of Bunawan in September, 2011. Lolong was captured with steel cable traps during a three-week hunt, after a child was killed in 2009 and a fisherman went missing. Water buffalos have also been attacked by crocodiles in the area, officials said.

Lolong, the monster crocodile of the philippines sets record as world’s largest in captivity

Lolong is responsible for an influx of tourists to the remote town where it was captured. Bunawan mayor Edwin Cox Elorde said the news sparked celebrations among the 37,000 inhabitants, but was also causing concern that more giant crocodiles might be lurking in a nearby marshland and creek where villagers fish.

"There were mixed feelings," Bunawan Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde told the Associated Press. "We're really proud because it proves the rich biodiversity of our place but at the same time, there are fears that Lolong may not be alone."

Elorde claimed to have seen a larger crocodile escape where Lolong was captured, and villagers remain wary of fishing in Bunawan at night. He said he has a new team of hunters and would seek government permission to start looking for the reptile.

Since its capture, Lolong has become the star attraction of a new ecotourism park and research centre in the outskirts of a new ecotourism and research center in the town and has drawn thousands of tourists since news of its capture spread.. And while the park has brought in 3m pesos ( $72,000, £46,000) in park fees since Lolong's debut, most of that money goes to feeding and taking care of the crocodile and for park maintenance.

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