MANILA, Philippines - A small Philippine town on Wednesday laid claim to having the world's largest captive crocodile after an Australian expert measured the saltwater beast at more than 6 meters.
The male reptile, nicknamed "Lolong," was captured in Bunawan in the Agusan marsh on the southern island of Mindanao in September and measured at 6.2 meters (20 feet and 4 inches) by Australian zoologist Adam Britton, Bunawan town council member Apollo Canoy said.
"We are happy to announce that we have the biggest crocodile in the whole world," Canoy told AFP in a telephone interview.
He said Britton, who could not be reached for comment, was the same expert who in 2008 measured 5.48-meter Cassius, an Australian saltwater crocodile that is listed by Guinness World Records as the largest in captivity.
"So far we have not had any contacts with Guinness, and we do not know whether they plan to visit us soon," Canoy said, adding that Britton measured the Bunawan crocodile at its pen for a foreign television station.
Its weight and the size of its girth were not taken, Canoy added.
The Guinness website said it had taken note of the Bunawan capture.
"Guinness World Records officials are currently awaiting further evidence in order to verify if a record has been broken," it added.
The Philippine crocodile was captured by professional hunters after a 3-week hunt following a spate of attacks that killed two marshland residents and several farm animals.
However, no trace of the human victims have been found in its gut.
Canoy said the captive crocodile eats 17 kilograms (37.5 pounds) of pork every 5 days and has become the main tourist attraction in the remote town of 27,000 people, drawing an average of 500 visitors a day.