MANILA, Philippines – After several long months of waiting, the Guiness World Records
group has formally declared giant saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus
) nicknamed Lolong as the world’s largest crocodile in captivity.
A front shot of Lolong.
Captured in September 2011 and widely featured by the global media, Lolong is measured at 20.24 feet (around 6.2 meters) and weighed at least a ton. While in captivity, close examinations revealed pieces of physical evidence that linked the giant crocodile to the disappearance of water buffaloes that were reported prior to getting caught.
In November of 2011, National Geographic sent Dr. Adam Britton to measure Lolong while sedated.Impact
While there was no surprise that Lolong
’s capture became a blockbuster topic in the media, notable impact related to tourism, local community joy as well as awareness for both the environment and animals were realized.
Bunawan mayor Edwin Cox Elorde
revealed that the new Guiness record made his constituents very happy although there were still concerns over the possibility that there may still be giant crocodiles in the wilderness surrounding his town.
“There were mixed feelings,” said Elorde.
“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.”
Ever since it was transferred to the Bunawan Ecopark
and Wildlife Reservation Center
in Barangay Consuelo around eight kilometers away from Bunawan, the giant crocodile became a major tourist attraction as well as a new object of study for science researchers.
To date, Bunawan collected more than P3,000,000 (US$72,000) in entrance fees from countless visitors who came to see Lolong. The proceeds have been used to not only feed the creature but also fund the maintenance as well as enhancing security for the venue.
A side shot of Lolong.
Looking back, Lolong
was the target of a three-week hunt organized by the local authorities, which took the combined efforts of over a hundred people as well as steel cable traps to capture the creature.
Previously, the Guiness record was held by Australian saltwater crocodile Cassius, which measured 5.48 meters and was captured in 1984.