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21-Foot Croc Caught in Philippines………
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Hunt for more crocodiles on in Agusan del Sur

Agusan del Sur officials have taken on an aggressive stance in the hunt for more crocodiles in the marshes after netting a 21-foot saltwater species that may well be the largest in captivity.

Bunawan Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde said their “entrapment operations” are ongoing since they believe more crocodiles inhabit the Agusan marsh.

“May project na kaming gagawin. Partial lang para ma-determine namin ang protected wildlife sa aming area,” he said in an interviews on GMA News’ “Unang Balita.”

On Monday, officials of the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center announced the capture of a 600-pound, 21-ft (6.4-meter) long crocodile.

The giant crocodile has been placed under the care of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Agusan del Sur.
Project director Ronald Nuer of the Bunawan Municipal Council said it took them 21 nights to snare the behemoth which freed itself from the restraining ropes twice before it was finally subdued. Then it became “aggressive” three more times.

The toll of grueling days

The long, grueling days of entrapment took its toll on the health of Lolong Cañete, one of the veteran crocodile hunters from the Palawan Crocodile Farm who led the Agusan operation.

“Na-damage si Manong Lolong sa operation namin dito. Na-stroke siya ng high blood. Almost three weeks kasi siya bago nakuha,” said Elorde in a separate interview on GMA News TV’s News To Go.
Elorde said the veteran hunter suffered a stroke in the second week of their attempt to capture the reptile.
In 2010, a young girl went missing near the Agusan Marsh and was believed to have been eaten by a crocodile. It was not known if the 21-footer was the reptile that attacked the girl.

In July this year, a 14-foot saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), suspected of having attacked and eaten a fisherman, was caught in Bataraza, Palawan.

Earlier, the Guinness Book of World Records reported that the largest crocodile in captivity (5.5 meters) can be found in Australia. — VS, GMA News

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