Villagers and a group of hunters in the Philippines have captured a one-ton saltwater crocodile along a stream in Bunawan Township in Agusan del Sur province after hunting for about three weeks. Guinness World Records lists a saltwater crocodile caught in Australia as the largest crocodile in captivity, measuring about 17 feet 11.75 inches. However, this crocodile caught in Philippines measures about 21 feet.
Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde said that the crocodile was responsible for killing the water buffalo last month and reportedly attacked a fisherman who went missing in July. It had become a threat for the village.
It wasn’t an easy task to catch the crocodile. The hunters initially set four traps on sightings of the creek; however, the crocodile destroyed them all. Sturdier traps were then used using steel cables, which finally succeeded in catching the reptile. Even after being caught, it wasn’t an easy task to pull it; the enormous reptile weighed around 2,370 pounds and required around 100 people to pull it before the crane lifted it into the truck.
The crocodile has been nicknamed Lolong and is currently placed in a fenced cage. An ecotourism park is being planned, with the center of attraction none other than Lolong. Villagers are happy that they will be able to turn a threat to their lives into an asset. The region is currently impoverished but Lolong should bring the people good fortune.
Animal rights activists, on the other hand, have already urged the authorities to return the crocodile back to the wild. However, the mayor has refused stating that the crocodile, if released, will pose a threat to the residents of the village.
Press. (2011, September 5). Giant saltwater crocodile captured alive in Philippines . Retrieved September 24, 2011, from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44398217/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/giant-saltwater-crocodile-captured-alive-philippines/
Zelman, J. (2011, September 10). Lolong, Giant Philippine Crocodile, Should Be Released, Activists Say . Retrieved September 24, 2011, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/10/lolong-giant-philippine-capture-activists-_n_956700.html