An international animal rights group is calling on Philippine government officials to release a captive giant crocodile to its natural habitat in the remote swampland of Southern Philippines
The giant crocodile, said to be the largest captive saltwater crocodile in the world, was captured by residents of a remote town in Southern Philippines last September 3.
The monster crocodile measured 21' (6.4) meters and weight around 2, 370 pounds. The crocodile is a suspect of killing a male resident and a 12-year-old girl who was attacked in 2009.
The suspected killer crocodile is now confined in a pond after hours of stressful interaction with residents who brought the rare catch to a secured place.
Local officials are planning to use the healthy giant crocodile as a tourist attraction because of its record-breaking size. The captive crocodile is reportedly "bigger than the previous largest captive saltwater crocodile, which the Guinness World Records website lists as a 5.48-metre (18-foot) male that lives at an Australian nature park." AFP/Yahoo reports.
Ashley Fruno, of the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals said "the reptile was better off being returned to the wild, away from human settlements."
"(The government) should do the compassionate thing and order this crocodile to be returned to his natural habitat, as taking him away to be locked up in an animal prison is just plain wrong," she wrote to AFP.
But Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde of Bunawan said the crocodile, which they named "Lolong" poses great danger to the people living in the nearby swampland. He said the crococodile attacked and killed a Buffalo last month and a fisherman who is still missing.
"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."
Meanwhile another crocodile reportedly bigger than "Lolong" is being hunted by residents of Bunawan swampland who fear the roaming killer crocodile could caused injury or death to unsuspecting residents.