Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Philippine Town Hopes for Tourism Boost from Giant Crocodile

Monsters and Critics: A southern Philippine town hopes to attract local and foreign tourists following the capture of what was believed to be the world's largest saltwater crocodile on record, the town mayor said Tuesday.

The 6.4-metre long reptile, weighing about 1,075 kilos, was captured on the weekend in the marshland of Bunawan town in Agusan del Sur province, 840 kilometres south of Manila, Mayor Edwin Elorde said.

Elorde said it took local and national wildlife officials and crocodile hunters 24 days to capture the giant crocodile that allegedly had killed and eaten a water buffalo, a fisherman and a 12-year-old girl.

Elorde said residents of Bunawan held parties to celebrate the capture of the reptile which have terrorized the communities around the marshland area.

He said the town council is planning to put up an ecotourism and conservation park which would provide shelter for the captured reptile.

'We would take advantage of this crocodile as a tourism attraction and we hope it would help us generate income and jobs,' Elorde said.

Elorde said they would list the crocodile, which is believed to be 50-years-old, in the Guinnness Book of World Records as the largest and oldest reptile to be captured in recent years.

The largest crocodile currently recorded on the Guinness Book of World Records is a 5.48-metre saltwater male crocodile which lived for 24 years in an Australian nature park.

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