Locals Mourn the Death of their Giant Crocodile
A huge crocodile known as “Lolong” has died at the Philippine eco-tourism park he inhabited just eighteen months after being captured. The Saltwater crocodile was officially declared the largest crocodile in captivity in 2011. It was measured at 6.17 metres long and it weighed more than one thousand kilogrammes, this reptile resembled a prehistoric monster, not out of place in a dinosaur movie. The crocodile had become a significant tourist attraction and as the local mayor of the town of Bunawan, where the park was located,said: “Lolong helped put our town on the world map”.
Believed responsible for the deaths of a number of local fisherman, an extensive crocodile hunt was instigated to bring this man-eater into captivity. The marshes of the Agusan del Sur province of the Philippines were searched and eventually this monster crocodile was caught in a trap, tempted by the carcase of a pig used as bait. When the crocodile was captured, pictures of the huge reptile tied to a cart and surrounded by excited villagers quickly spread around the world, this part of the Philippines had found fame and fortune thanks to this apex predator.
To read an article about this reptile’s capture: Monster Crocodile Caught in the Philippines.
The crocodile, which is thought to have been at least fifty years of age, fell ill after swallowing a piece of nylon cord about three weeks ago and it had been suffering from intestinal problems but the actual cause of death has yet to be determined. An autopsy is being carried out and the results will be published next week. The weather had been unseasonably cold and it is thought that the crocodile could have been affected by the chilly conditions. Whatever, the cause of death, the crocodile will leave much of the town in mourning as it had been a big tourist attraction bringing lots of visitors to Bunawan.
The crocodile was discovered last Monday, floating upside down in its enclosure with a very bloated stomach. A veterinarian who specialises in reptiles was called in and the crocodile was immersed in a pool of tepid water in a bid to revive it but to no avail. Sadly, this crocodile had passed away within eighteen months of its capture.
Mayor of Bunawan, Edwin Elorde commented:
We don’t know what happened to it. Its death is a complete mystery at the moment and I have to admit that I am really depressed. I have come to love that crocodile, it brought fame and fortune to our town.”
A number of other Saltwater crocodiles have already been offered to the specially created eco-tourism park that was set up to house “Lolong”, however, lurking in the marshes surrounding the town there are rumoured to be even larger crocodiles still on the loose. The eco-system in the marshland is particularly rich, providing a refuge for a number of endangered species in the Philippines as well as some very large Saltwater crocodiles.
Although not closely related to dinosaurs, the residents of the town of Bunawan came to appreciate the fact that they had their very own prehistoric monster which was in itself a significant tourist attraction.
For models and replicas of extant and extinct archosaurs: Mojo Fun Prehistoric and Extinct Models.
A pig was slaughtered in honour of the deceased reptile and offerings were made by locals to the spirit of “Lolong”. The crocodile has had its head removed and been skinned. The rest of the carcase was buried so that the flesh could rot quickly away allowing the bones to be exhumed at a later date and an exhibit created. It is hoped that even in death this very large crocodile would act as symbol of the rich natural environment and help to preserve the habitat as well as encouraging eco-tourists into the province.
To read an article about the largest crocodiles in captivity: Philippine Crocodile is Declared Largest in Captivity.
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