Wildlife authorities in the Philippines say they have captured a 21-foot-long, 2,370-pound saltwater crocodile, thought to be the largest creature of its kind now in captivity.
The croc was captured in Agusan del Sur marsh on the southern Philippine island of Mindinao, according to a report on GMA News. Hunters had been trying to capture it for 21 days, the report said. It was finally captured on Saturday by a team of about 30 men who used meat to bait it and an eight millimeter metal cable to snare it, according to an Agence-France Presse report on ABS.CBN News.
Edwin Cox Elorde, mayor of the remote town of Bunawan near where the croc was caught, said the reptile will become the star of a nature park there, according to the AFP report.
The previous largest crocodile in captivity is an 18-footer in Australia, according to Guinness World Records.
Crocodiles are suspected in the deaths of a local fisherman earlier this year and a girl a few years ago, according to the news reports, but authorities could not say whether the monster caught Saturday was responsible.
Cox Elorde told Inquirer news in the Philippines that there could be a thousand more large crocodiles in the marsh, but he denied earlier reports that locals would try to catch another.
He also said the croc captured Saturday has been named Lolong, after local hunter Ernesto “Lolong” Conate, who died of a stroke while helping plan the capture of the reptile.