Giant Captured Crocodile Refusing Food

 

After its capture six days ago in the southern Philippines, a 20-foot-saltwater crocodile has not yet eaten. The Guardian reports that the crocodile, which has been named Lolong, has been under close observation for signs of stress, according to wildlife official Ronnie Sumiller.

Noting that it is “normal” for crocodiles to be stressed after capture, Sumiller also said that a crocodile as large as Lolong could go for six months without eating. A dead chicken placed near him went untouched.áLolong is currently in a 2,600-square foot pen, with concrete walls and barbed wire. Some people had been throwing stones at him to make him move and officials feared that doing so would make him only more stressed.

Sumiller said that residents of Bunawan, which is about 515 miles southwest of Manila, had asked him to come to the town two years ago after a huge crocodile attacked and ate a 12-year-old child from a capsized boat.áCapturing Lolong took three weeks, five villagers whom Sumiller had trained and 20 steel cages with an animal carcass as bait.áAfter inducing Lolong to vomit, Sumiller said he did not find any human remains; it is possible that there is a larger crocodile in the vicinity of Bunawan.

Lolong weighs about 1,075 kilograms and is estimated to be about 50 years old. Saltwater crocodiles can live for about 100 years and grow to almost 30 feet. Lolong is the largest crocodile captured alive in the Philippines in the past few years and may be the largest such caught in the world. As Jonathan Jones writes in the Guardian (where you can see a photo of the captured crocodile being dragged past crowds), the crocodile “looks today just as it did at the end of the Cretaceous era 65 million years ago.”

Environment secretary, Ramon Paje has stated that the crocodile was captured “because it was a threat to the community,” while noting that it and other reptiles were a “reminder that the country’s remaining rich habitats needed to be constantly protected.” Poachers have hunted crocodiles for their skin to use in “products ranging from bags to mobile phone cases.”áBunawan’s mayor, Edwin Cox Elorde, said that plans are afoot to “make the captured crocodile ‘the biggest star’ in an ecotourism park to be built to increase villagers’ and tourists’ awareness of the vital role the dreaded reptiles play in the ecosystem.” Under Philippine law, killing endangered crocodiles is forbidden, with violators facing up to 12 years in prison and a fine of 1 million pesos (about $23,244).

 

Related Care2 Coverage

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Photo of the Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis) by brian.gratwicke

267 comments

Past Member
Heather T.2 years ago

I feel that the poor animals is pining for his freedom, even a mate that has been left behind.
As for people throwing stones at it that is disgraceful and should be stopped immediately.
He should be allowed his freedom otherwise I feel he will die from being in captivity

Melissa L.
Melissa L.3 years ago

Is there an update?

Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

rene davis
rene davis3 years ago

What a long croc!

Diane L.
Diane L.3 years ago

Aileen, what are you talking about? This article well OVER a year old. I haven't even commented in MONTHS! My last comment is far off the front page........last comment showing was Sept 17th of last year (2011). Nothing from me.

Aileen C.
Aileen C.3 years ago

Dear Diane L.
Please don't write in such a "Shouty" tone, I can read you are a passionate person but you do yourself and your arguments a disservice by writing so aggressively and basically a bit arrogantly. Cool it Girl.

Armine John H.
armine Hutt3 years ago

Release him. poor thing shouldn't be locked up.

Lori M. Smith
Lori Smith4 years ago

If I had lived free for 50 years and was then dragged into a cage and had "humans" throwing rocks at me, I wouldn't eat either. Set him free - that is his home!

Glenda L.
Glenda L.4 years ago

Difficult question, anyone who lived nearby would obviously want him removed, maybe there's a better place for him?

Jane R.
Jane R.4 years ago

People are throwing rocks at him? Shame on them!! He should be released!!!