|Villagers look at a giant crocodile measuring 21 feet and weighing more than a ton after capturing it from a creek in Bunawan village in Agusan del sur Province. The residents suspect the same crocodile is responsible for a missing farmer and a carabao. Photo: Agence France-Presse
MANILA, Philippines – Authorities in the town of Bunawan, Agusan del Sur are hunting for another giant saltwater crocodile that is believed to be larger than the one captured alive by locals on Saturday.
The 21-foot (6.4-meter) saltwater crocodile that was captured in Magsangsang creek in Bunawan town has become an attraction after reports revealed that the crocodile may be the largest captive saltwater crocodile on record.
“Posible siya na hindi lang siya sa Philippines kundi sa world. Kasi... record-breaking 'yung size niya,” said town Mayor Edwin Elorde.
The 21-foot Bunawan crocodile has a 3-foot advantage over Cassius, an 18-foot male crocodile in Australia.
Cassius is listed as the largest captive saltwater crocodile on the Guinness World Records website.
The male crocodile was captured after 3 weeks of hunting, with the help of a heavy metal cable and at least 30 men.
Rollie Sumiller, who led locals in capturing the creature alive, is also leading the hunt for possibly a larger reptile in the town, reports said.
"We're not really sure if this is the man-eater, because there have been other sightings of other crocodiles in the area," he said.
Public viewing at a pen where the captured crocodile is being held has been temporarily suspended.
Authorities said the crocodile must not be disturbed or stressed.
Mayor Elorde, however, said the government has set its eyes on building a nature park to showcase the giant crocodile and other species found in the vast marshland on the upper reaches of the massive Agusan river basin on Mindanao island.
"It will be the biggest star of the park," Elorde told reporters.
The 1,075-kilogram (2,370-pound) male is suspected of eating a farmer who went missing in July and of killing a 12-year-old girl 2 years ago, said crocodile hunter Sumiller. -- With reports from Charmane Awitan, ABS-CBN Caraga; Agence France-Presse