At once a fearsome beast and mass source of revenue, Lolong the crocodile has a ton to offer and just added a Guinness World record to boot.
- (PHOTO:Twitter/Ebe Dancel )
Lolong the crocodile was once greatly feared by locals in the surrounding Southern Philippines town where it lived. Believed to be the largest saltwater crocodile in the world, the reptile was more than just a threat and had been held responsible for deadly attacks. However, last September, the crocodile was caught, when no more lives could be spared and now the beast has turned into a local hero of sort.
"Lolong has become the star attraction of a new ecotourism park and research center in the outskirts of Bunawan and has drawn thousands of tourists since news of its capture spread," the Associated Press reported.
Since being set up in it's new home, the crocodile has learned how to earn its own keep and has brought in over $72,000 for the small town. The money goes to maintaining the crocodile and it's new park home.
Lolong isn't just any crocodile though; it's actually very, very long. Weighing over one ton, the crocodile is more than 20 feet long. The impressive length is enough to steal the Guinness record from the previous holder, an Australian crocodile who was 17 feet long and weighed just under a ton.
One ton is equal to about 2,240 pounds, which is about the weight of a motorcycle or even a small car.
"The crocodile was captured with steel cable traps during a three-week hunt after a child was killed in 2009 and a fisherman went missing. Water buffalos have also been attacked by crocodiles in the area," AP reported.
For some though, where there is smoke, there is fire. What if there are more giant crocodiles like Lolong?
"There were mixed feelings," Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde told the Huffington Post. "We're really proud because it proves the rich biodiversity of our place but at the same time, there are fears that Lolong may not be alone."