World’s largest captive crocodile dies

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By Anthony S. Allada


DAVAO CITY, Feb. 11 (PNA) –- The world’s biggest crocodile died at the Eco-Park in Bunawan town in Agusan del Sur Sunday night after reportedly refusing to eat for more than a month.

Dr. Alexander Collantes, animal doctor of the Davao Crocodile Park based in this city, declared the one-tonne, 21-foot saltwater crocodile dead hours after he conducted a check up at the animal’s pen in Consuelo village.

Officials of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) were reportedly also present at Lolong’s death.

Collantes was called upon by the Eco-Park keepers over the unusual movement of Lolong and the animal physician had to immediately travel from Davao City to Bunawan.

A necropsy has yet to be performed on the crocodile, which was captured in a creek in the Bunawan barangay of Nueva Era on September 3, 2011.

It was given the name “Lolong” after crocodile hunter Ernesto “Lolong” Goloran Cañete, who died of a heart attack while searching for the animal.

Bunawan Mayor Edwin Elorde said Lolong reportedly refused to eat since last month and they noticed a change in the color of his feces and the unusual ballooning of his belly.

After typhoon Pablo hit Agusan del Sur and other parts of Mindanao last December, changes started to show in Lolong, local officials said.

The Eco-Park in upland Consuelo village where the crocodile had been kept was drawing hundreds of local tourists daily, generating up to P20,000 of gate receipts per day, the mayor said.

Elorde ordered the closure of the park on Sunday hours before Dr. Collantes declared the reptile dead.

The provincial government spearheaded by Agusan del Sur Governor Adolph Edward G. Plaza had earlier set aside more than P5 million to support the Bunawan town’s Eco-Park.

Representatives from the United States-based National Geographic and Guinness Book of World Records had documented “Lolong,” and declared it to be the world’s largest crocodile caught alive. (PNA)

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