April 25, 2020

Largest Crocodile in the World - Lolong Of Philippines



Largest crocodile in the wold| Lolong|Saltwater Crocodile| Biggest crocodile in Captivity| Philippines


We must have seen a crocodile in the jungle river or in captivity but ever wondered seeing this gigantic  pre-historic creature which looks much like a dinosaur that how big can a crocodile be or which is the largest crocodile in the world. 


                                                     
Saltwater Crocodile
Image Source-  Google | Image by - flickr

The biggest crocodile in the world ever recorded used to be a 40 foot gigantic saltwater crocodile which used to rule the salt waters of Africa but soon it became history because of excessive hunting and habitat destructions and not much information is available about this majestic creatures.

In today’s scenario, the biggest crocodile in the world recorded in Guinness book of world records is Lolong.  Lolong was found and captured in 2011 in The Philippines with the help of Philippines government and the local community.

                                               

Lolong in captivity
Image Source-  Google | Image by - commons.wikimedia


It was suspected that Lolong was a man-eater who killed 2 people including a man and a girl in the region and because of its enormous size which was 1.5 times more than an average size of a saltwater crocodile, it was a threat to the well being of the local community which used to live beside the Bunawan creek where Lolong’s habitat was.


Size and description of Lolong


Average size of a Saltwater crocodile is around 4-4.5 meter measured from tip of the nose to the end of the tail and the usual weight is around 400-500 kg. The jaw or one of the most deadliest weapons of a crocodile which makes it an excellent predator is 66 teeth in its mouth which keeps on growing and shed after which a new set of teeth grows and the cycle continues.

Lolong was 6.17 meters or 20ft 3 inches in length from nose to end of the tail making it the largest crocodile in the world. The weight of Lolong when measured came to humungous 1075 kg which makes it the biggest crocodile in the world by size and weight both. It had a giant mouth that had a bite force of 32000 newtons offorce which is equivalent to a collision by a Huge Mac truck.

How did he get so big?


Although there is no proven theory present as to why super croc attain those super sizes, but for Lolong a theory which was suggested was that when Lolong was a baby croc, he did not had any natural predator around him during his growing period as 60% of the total croc babies die in first few weeks of birth.  Also the region where Lolong grew had abundant availability of food which assisted Lolong to attain a Super croc size and become the world’s largest crocodile.
But having a gigantic size creates its own problems as Lolong being soo big had lost his agility and it took a lot of energy for him to carry his own weight outside the water.

Captive life of Lolong


Lolong was captured and kept in Captivity in Bunawan Ecopark and Wildlife reservation Centre in a small enclosure. Soon the news spread all over the world about the biggest crocodile in the world and the exhibit was opened for the public to get a view of Lolong. A team from National Geographic and an Australian crocodile expert came and measured the size of Lolong which came out to be 20ft 3 inch and “Lolong, world’s largest crocodile in captivity” was recorded in Guinness book of world records.

Aftermath


Despite several  efforts from People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and other animal welfare organizations, Lolong was not shifted to a bigger enclosure or even back to the wild which was suggested, Lolong died in 2013 and he was supposed to be at an age of 50 years at the time. An autopsy report revealed that the enclosure in which Lolong was kept in captivity, was too small for the world's largest crocodile in captivity. The pool in which Lolong used to stay was not deep and big enough. Many times the water was drained out of the pool to get a proper view of Lolong by the public for a mere few dollars. Reports revealed that Lolong got a cardiac arrest because of Stress and fungal infection in legs as it was rubbed excessively upon the concrete floor of the pool.

                                                  
Lolong at National Museum
Image Source-  Google | Image by - commons.wikimedia

It was also discovered that there were no remains of any human inside Lolong which also proved that it was not a Man-eater. After taxidermy, Lolong is kept in the National Museum of Philippines. Such a majestic and wonderful creature is not alive and the only reason behind it id human greed and negligence.  


Largest crocodile in the wold| Lolong|Saltwater Crocodile| Biggest crocodile in Captivity| Philippines

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