Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Residents use their hands to measure a 6.4-metrr-long saltwater crocodile, which is suspected of having attacked several people. It was caught in the southern Philippines this week. REUTERS / Stringer
Residents use their hands to measure a 6.4-metrr-long saltwater crocodile, which is suspected of having attacked several people. It was caught in the southern Philippines this week. REUTERS / Stringer

Villagers in Philippines celebrate capture of one-ton man-eating crocodile

Suspected mankiller may be largest crocodile in captivity in the world - but there may be an even bigger one still lurking nearby, says expert.

MANILA // Relieved Filipinos have captured a one-ton crocodile that had terrorised their village.

About 100 people pulled the beast from a creek by rope then hoisted it by crane onto a lorry.

But the party may have been premature. After the 6.4 metre saltwater crocodile was caught over the weekend, authorities said yesterday an even bigger killer may lurk in creeks of the remote region.

The crocodile - weighing 1,075 kilograms and at least 50 years old - is the biggest caught alive in the Philippines in recent years.

Wildlife officials were trying to confirm whether it was the largest such catch in the world, said Theresa Mundita Lim of the government's Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau.

It was captured after a three-week hunt in Bunawan township in Agusan del Sur province.

A child was killed two years ago in the township, home to about 37,000 people, by a crocodile that was not caught. A croc is also suspected of killing a fisherman missing since July.

Bunawan villagers celebrated after they caught the crocodile. "It was like a feast, so many villagers turned up," Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde said.

Wildlife official Ronnie Sumiller, who has hunted "nuisance crocodiles" for 20 years and led the hunt team in Bunawan, about 830 kilometres south-east of Manila, said a search was under way for a possibly larger crocodile.

"There is a bigger one and it could be the one creating problems," Mr Sumiller said. "The villagers were saying 10 per cent of their fear was gone because of the first capture but there is still the other 90 per cent to take care of."

Backed by five village hunters he has trained, Mr Sumiller has set 20 steel cable traps with an animal carcass as bait along the creek where the first croc was caught and in a nearby marshland.

Mr Sumiller found no human remains when he induced the captured crocodile to vomit.

Guinness World Records lists a saltwater crocodile caught in Australia as the largest crocodile in captivity, measuring 5.48m.

Mayor Elorde plans to make the crocodile "the biggest star" in an eco-tourism park to be built to increase awareness of villagers and potential tourists of the vital role the reptiles play in the ecosystem.

Philippine laws strictly prohibit civilians from killing endangered crocodiles - the penalty is up to 12 years in prison and a fine of US$24,000 (Dh88,000).

The country's environment secretary Ramon Paje said the crocodile was captured because it was a threat.

Crocodiles have been hunted by poachers hoping to cash in on the high demand in wealthy Asian countries for their skin, which is coveted for products such as bags.

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 The Doha-based Youssef Al Qaradawi speaks to the crowd as he leads Friday prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt in February, 2011. The outspoken pro-Muslim Brotherhood imam has been critical of the UAE’s policies toward Islamist groups, adding to friction between Qatar and other GCC states. Khalil Hamra / AP Photo

Brotherhood imam skips Doha sermon, but more needed for GCC to reconcile

That Youssef Al Qaradawi did not speak raises hopes that the spat involving Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain might be slowly moving towards a resolution.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 An Afghan election commission worker carries a ballot box at a vote counting centre in Jalalabad on April 6. A roadside bomb hit a truck carrying full ballot boxes in northern Afghanistan, killing three people a day after the country voted for a successor to President Hamid Karzai. Eight boxes of votes were destroyed in the blast, which came as the three leading candidates voiced concerns about possible fraud. Noorullah Shirzada / AFP Photo

Two pressing questions for Afghanistan’s future president

Once in office, the next Afghan president must move fast to address important questions that will decide the immediate future of the country.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP cheer as they follow the election's results in front of the party's headquarters in Ankara on March 30. Adem Altan/ AFP Photo

Erdogan critic fears retaliation if he returns to Turkey

Emre Uslu is a staunch critic of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now, with a mass crackdown on opposition expected, he is unsure when he can return home.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National