Giant Crocodile Breaks Size Record—Suspected in Fatal Attacks
Lolong beats previous record-holder by more than two feet.
Lolong has hit the big time—at 20.24 feet (6.17 meters) long, the saltwater crocodile is officially the largest in captivity, the Guinness World Records announced recently.
Suspected of attacking several people and killing two, the giant reptile was captured alive in the Philippines' Bunawan township (map) last September. (See pictures of Lolong's capture.)
The Guinness listing is based on data by experts including crocodile zoologist Adam Britton, who measured the beast in his home, the new Bunawan Eco-Park and Research Centre. (Read more about Lolong's Guinness World Record listing.)
Initially wary of claims of record-breaking size, Britton blogged his congratulations to Lolong "for amazing the skeptic in me."
"I didn't expect to ever see a crocodile greater than 20 feet long in my lifetime, not an experience I will forget easily," wrote Britton, senior partner of the Australia-based crocodilian research and consulting group Big Gecko. (See pictures of alligators and crocodiles.)
The previous captive record-holder was a 17.97-foot-long (5.48-meter-long) Australian-caught saltwater crocodile.
What's more, Britton noted, the 2,370-pound (1,075-kilogram) Lolong may have a sizable impact on crocodile conservation in the Philippines.
For instance, the Philippine Senate recently introduced a resolution to strengthen laws protecting the saltwater crocodile and the Philippine crocodile, a species deemed critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
As Britton wrote on his blog, "this is excellent progress."