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Giant crocodile captured alive in Philippines

gonesimera 2011/09/06 10:12:22


MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Villagers and veteran hunters have captured a one-ton saltwater crocodile which they plan to make the star of a planned ecotourism park in a southern Philippine town, an official said Monday.

Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde said dozens of villagers and experts ensnared the 21-foot (6.4-meter) male crocodile along a creek in Bunawan township in Agusan del Sur province after a three-week hunt. It could be one of the largest crocodiles to be captured alive in recent years, he said, quoting local crocodile experts.

Elorde said the crocodile killed a water buffalo in an attack witnessed by villagers last month and was also suspected of having attacked a fisherman who went missing in July.

He said he sought the help of experts at a crocodile farm in western Palawan province.

"We were nervous but it's our duty to deal with a threat to the villagers," Elorde told The Associated Press by telephone. "When I finally stood before it, I couldn't believe my eyes."

After initial sightings at a creek, the hunters set four traps, which the crocodile destroyed. They then used sturdier traps using steel cables, one of which finally caught the enormous reptile late Saturday, he said.

About 100 people had to pull the crocodile, which weighs about 2,370 pounds (1,075 kilograms), from the creek to a clearing where a crane lifted it into a truck, he said.

The crocodile was placed in a fenced cage in an area where the town plans to build an ecotourism park for species found in a vast marshland in Agusan, an impoverished region about 515 miles (830 kilometers) southeast of Manila, Elorde said.

"It will be the biggest star of the park," Elorde said, adding that villagers were happy that they would be able to turn the dangerous crocodile "from a threat into an asset."

Despite the catch, villagers remain wary because several crocodiles still roam the outskirts of the farming town of about 37,000 people.

They have been told to avoid venturing into marshy areas alone at night, Elorde said.

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  • Jensola 2011/09/07 15:29:41
    Jensola
    +1
    Cruel... they should leave it where it is and the villagers would just have to keep out of the water!! It's the crocodile's environment, we took over the animals' homes, why should they have to be moved away and made a spectacle of at a glorified zoo!? :((
  • Matt 2011/09/06 11:41:03 (edited)
    Matt
    +1
    I got to see one of those in St. Augustine, Florida. Standing up on all fours, he was over 4 feet tall and looked like he could fit an average person in his mouth.

    Gomek was a large Saltwater Crocodile captured by George Craig in Papua New Guinea. He was purchased by Terri and Arthur Jones in 1985 and was kept in Ocala, Florida for five years before being sold to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park in Florida. For 8 years he wowed spectators with both his amazing nutria-tossing abilities and his even more amazing tolerance of people. Feeders of the large croc were allowed to go into the enclosure and get as close as 1 meter from the large animal (a normally suicidal proximity) without any fear of attack. While feeders still used long tongs to feed Gomek, he was generally considered to be a "tame" crocodile and was the favorite of the Alligator farm and people around the nation.

    After many years, Gomek died of heart disease on March 6, 1997. By then, he was a very old crocodile, and one of the largest and tamest captive crocodile in existence. When he died, he was 17 feet 8 inches (5.5 m) long, and weighed nearly 2,000 pounds - as confirmed by St. Augustine Alligator Farm - and probably between 80 and 90 years old. There is a tribute to Gomek in St. Augustine.

    http:/...
    I got to see one of those in St. Augustine, Florida. Standing up on all fours, he was over 4 feet tall and looked like he could fit an average person in his mouth.

    Gomek was a large Saltwater Crocodile captured by George Craig in Papua New Guinea. He was purchased by Terri and Arthur Jones in 1985 and was kept in Ocala, Florida for five years before being sold to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park in Florida. For 8 years he wowed spectators with both his amazing nutria-tossing abilities and his even more amazing tolerance of people. Feeders of the large croc were allowed to go into the enclosure and get as close as 1 meter from the large animal (a normally suicidal proximity) without any fear of attack. While feeders still used long tongs to feed Gomek, he was generally considered to be a "tame" crocodile and was the favorite of the Alligator farm and people around the nation.

    After many years, Gomek died of heart disease on March 6, 1997. By then, he was a very old crocodile, and one of the largest and tamest captive crocodile in existence. When he died, he was 17 feet 8 inches (5.5 m) long, and weighed nearly 2,000 pounds - as confirmed by St. Augustine Alligator Farm - and probably between 80 and 90 years old. There is a tribute to Gomek in St. Augustine.

    http://www.zoochat.com/22/rem... 80 90 years tribute gomek augustine httpwww zoochat com22rem Gomek
    (more)
  • gonesimera Matt 2011/09/06 11:48:42
    gonesimera
    +1
    They do grow very big and to be very old, I would like to see one live, I am hoping to goto Palawan soon, maybe I will see some while there !
  • Aingean 2011/09/06 10:20:08
    Aingean
    +1
    I just read this article on yahoo not to long ago, isn't that Croc huge? I would have a heart attack if I had found it, which is pretty much impossible in Oklahoma but still. And not being alone at night really wont save you, crocs are not strictly nocturnal.

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