Lolong the crocodile is now available for public viewing at the Bunawan Ecopark and Wildlife Reservation Center (BEWRC) located in Barangay Consuelo, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur.
Bunawan Mayor Cox Elorde said proceeds from the park will be to pay for the one million pesos in costs from catching Lolong. Entrance fee of P20 for adults, P15 for children and free for people with disabilities and senior citizens.
Lolong was named after Ernesto “Lolong” Goloran Cañete, one of the veteran crocodile hunters from the Palawan Crocodile and Wildlife Reservation Center who led the hunt. He died of a heart attack a few days before the crocodile was snared and captured.
In a related news, Lolong is not yet considered as the biggest crocodile in captivity. The Guiness World Records said it will not measure Lolong until it was in “acceptable captivity.” Last week, Guiness declared an Australian crocodile measuring under 5.5 meters as the biggest in captivity. Lolong measures around 6.4 meters.
A 21-foot (6.4-meter), 1,075-kilogram (2,370-pound) crocodile was captured in Agusan del Sur Province, Philippines after a three-week hunt on Tuesday.
According to crocodile hunter Ronnie Sumiller, the reptile may have eaten a farmer who went missing in July, along with several water buffaloes in the southern town of Bunawan.
‘We were very nervous about tackling this beast but it was our duty to deal with it because it was a threat to many villagers and their farm animals. When I finally saw it after its capture I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was big enough to swallow three men all at once,’ said Bunawan Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde.
It is expected to be the star attraction at a new eco-tourism park that is being set up in Agusan.
‘It will be the biggest star of the park. The villagers, of course, are very happy that they have been able to turn this dangerous crocodile from a threat into an asset,’ Elorde added.
The 21-foot crocodile in the Philippines is said to be the largest ever captured. Its nearest rival in the monster stakes is Cassius, an Australian salt-water crocodile which measures a ‘mere’ 18ft – and which is still on the loose in the Northern Territory.