The world's largest saltwater crocodile in captivity has died, sending villagers to tears in the backwater southern Philippine town that had started to draw tourists, revenue and development because of the immense reptile.
The crocodile had been blamed for deadly attacks on people before it was captured in 2011 and sent to live at an eco-tourism park that was built to house the giant. The reptile quickly became a star attraction of marshy Bunawan, a far-flung town of 37,000 people in Agusan del Sur province about 515 miles (830 kilometers) southeast of Manila.
The 1-ton crocodile flipped over with a bloated stomach Sunday and the veterinarian declared it dead a few hours later, Bunawan town Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde said. It had been estimated at more than 50 years old, Elorde said. Authorities will try to determine the cause of death.
Image: In this September 4th, 2011 file photo, residents watch as Mayor Cox Elorde of Bunawan township, Agusan del Sur province, pretends to measure a huge crocodile, later named "Lolong," after its capture by residents and staff of a crocodile farm along a creek in Bunawan in southern Philippines. The saltwater male crocodile, measuring 20.24 feet (6.17 meters) and proclaimed by Guinness World Records as the world's largest saltwater crocodile in captivity, died Sunday, February 10th, 2013.