x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Crocodile in Philippines declared world's largest in captivity

Guinness World Records has named the crocodile Lolong, which measures 6.17 metres and weighs more than a ton, the world's largest in captivity.

MANILA // Guinness World Records has declared that a crocodile in the Philippines is the largest in captivity in the world.

The saltwater crocodile named Lolong is blamed for deadly attacks in the southern Philippines but it has brought pride, fear, tourism revenues and attention to the remote town where it was captured.

The giant reptile was captured last September in Bunawan town in Agusan del Sur province and measures 6.17 metres and weighs more than a ton, Guinness spokeswoman Anne-Lise Rouse said yesterday. Lolong took the top spot from an Australian crocodile that measured more than 5 metres and weighed nearly a ton.

Edwin Cox Elorde, the Bunawan mayor. said the news sparked celebrations in his farming town of 37,000 but also fostered concerns that more giant crocodiles might be lurking in a nearby marshland and creek where villagers fish.

"There were mixed feelings," Mr Elorde said. "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."

Lolong has become the star attraction of a new ecotourism park and research center in the outskirts of Bunawan and has drawn thousands of tourists since news of its capture spread. Elorde said his town has earned 3 million pesos (Dh264,465) from the modest entrance fees at the park, with most of the money being used to feed and care for the crocodile and for park maintenance.