National Geographic News
Giant crocodile picture - Philippine mayor "hugging" a giant saltwater crocodile, Lolong

Edwin Cox Elorde, mayor of Bunawan township, Philippines, with Lolong in September.

Photograph from AP

Christine Dell'Amore

National Geographic News

Published July 2, 2012

Lolong has hit the big timeat 20.24 feet (6.17 meters) long, the saltwater crocodile is officially the largest in captivity, the Guinness World Records announced recently.

Suspected of attacking several people and killing two, the giant reptile was captured alive in the Philippines' Bunawan township (map) last September. (See pictures of Lolong's capture.)

The Guinness listing is based on data by experts including crocodile zoologist Adam Britton, who measured the beast in his home, the new Bunawan Eco-Park and Research Centre. (Read more about Lolong's Guinness World Record listing.)

 

picture: Lolong, largest crocodile in captivity, per Guinness

 

Initially wary of claims of record-breaking size, Britton blogged his congratulations to Lolong "for amazing the skeptic in me."

"I didn't expect to ever see a crocodile greater than 20 feet long in my lifetime, not an experience I will forget easily," wrote Britton, senior partner of the Australia-based crocodilian research and consulting group Big Gecko. (See pictures of alligators and crocodiles.)

The previous captive record-holder was a 17.97-foot-long (5.48-meter-long) Australian-caught saltwater crocodile.

What's more, Britton noted, the 2,370-pound (1,075-kilogram) Lolong may have a sizable impact on crocodile conservation in the Philippines.

For instance, the Philippine Senate recently introduced a resolution to strengthen laws protecting the saltwater crocodile and the Philippine crocodile, a species deemed critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

As Britton wrote on his blog, "this is excellent progress."

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