This blog entry is in response to ABS-CBN special report for Lolong aired Saturday, September 17, 2011.
Lolong is a giant salt-water crocodile 21 ft. long and weighs about 1 ton. He was captured at the age of 50. Meaning he may be roaming the water since 1961.
Locals of Bunawan, Agusan Del Sur marshes confirmed sightings of this giant crocodile for a long time. Locals have been heard said that some are injured by various crocodile attacks. But when a beheaded corpse of a child has been found which was whole heatedly blamed on the giant crocodile of the marshes. Soon, a fisherman was found missing and the giant croc was soon blamed for this too after being sighted killing a water buffalo.
After 3 weeks of hunting, the giant crocodile was captured by 30 men on September 4, 2011 and was temporarily detained in Bunawan, Agusan Del Norte.
Lolong is named after Ernesto "Lolong" Coñate, a Palawan hunter who led the team tasked to catch the monster crocodile. Coñate died of a heart attack during the operation. As a tribute, the people all thought to name the giant croc after the man.
With a little research for myself, I found out that Lolong is now transferred to a Wildlife preserve in Agusan Del Sur. Despite the involvement of DENR on the matter, Lolong has shown but a little movement while in his new captivity but has refused to eat since capture.
Experts say that salt-water crocodiles are extremely territorial and that Lolong's poor response to his environment is because of this. Now, the giant crocodile faces a new threat as he may have suffered serious injuries in regards to the method of his capture and may detain his recovery by not eating.
In addition to this, he is stressed regarding all that has happened to him and so soon after his capture the gates are now opened for the public viewing of said crocodile.
Lolong is also suspected to have a mate or offspring of his own. Agusan locals still believe that another giant crocodile still roams the marshes and now, crocodile hunters have been coming in to town for the frenzy. Locals think it only right to rid them of the threat that are the salt-water crocodiles of the Agusan Marshes.
Animal rights activists think that Lolong may have responded to the overcrowding of its natural habitat. Bunawan, Agusan Del Norte is a poverty-striken town and a huge population of the people get a living out of the fishes caught on the marshes. Some have also gotten the habit of living on the water themselves. Experts believe that the wildlife crocs feel the decline on the supply of its natural prey so that it adapted to other sources of food in the area. The animals of the locals or if they can get them, the locals themselves.
I strongly believe that Lolong should be returned to his natural habitat and provide protection for him and his species. Salt-water crocodiles weren't meant to be kept in enclosures and be displayed for the public not knowing the effects it would give to Lolong. Above all, if the animal itself responds negatively to its capture, the opposite must be done in order to assist it in surviving longer and being there for the next generation to behold and cherish in the future.
For one thing, the institution to which he is detained is not qualified to meet Lolong's needs conducive to his natural habitat. He is used to eating live prey and that may be the reason he is not eating the food given to him on the wild life preserve. He may also be used to a big area to roam around and also deeper waters to submerged itself in it. Also, some may think that it misses its family. But Lolong cant be mixed with the other salt-water crocs on the preserve since the keepers still dont know the diseases he may carry from the Marshes.
The authorities of Bunawan are now waiting for the Guinness Book team to confirm that Lolong is the biggest salt-water crocodile caught alive in the whole world. The only known croc to rival Lolong is of "Cassius Clay," a brute named after the famed Afro-American heavy weight boxer, was caught in the wilds of Australia's Northern Territories in 1984.