Biggest Crocodile Dies in Captivity

The 20.24-foot (6.17-meter) Lolong passed away in the Philippines.

Lolong is the largest crocodile in captivity no longer.

The 20.24-foot-long (6.17-meter-long) saltwater crocodile died recently at his home in the Bunawan Eco-Park and Research Centre in the Philippines' Bunawan township (map), according to news reports.

In July, Guinness World Records named the behemoth, which was captured alive in September 2011, the largest crocodile in captivity. (See pictures of Lolong's capture.)

The previous captive record-holder was a 17.97-foot-long (5.48-meter-long) Australian-caught saltwater crocodile.

The cause of death is unknown, although a post-mortem may reveal more details, CNN reported.

Biggest Crocodile Boosted Conservation

The giant reptile's death is a loss to crocodile conservation in the country, Philippines' Environment Secretary Ramon Pajeto told CNN affiliate ABS-CBN News.

Indeed, the 2,370-pound (1,075-kilogram) Lolong may have inspired people in the Philippines to "perhaps respect crocodiles a little bit more,"Adam Britton, senior partner of the Australia-based crocodilian research and consulting group Big Gecko, wrote on his blog in June 2012. (See pictures of alligators and crocodiles.)

For instance, in 2011 Philippine Senate 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.

Lolong will still loom large even after death, however—Paje told ABS-CNN that the reptile will be stuffed and mounted.

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