Caught alive after a three-week hunt, an allegedly 21-foot-long (6.4-meter-long) saltwater crocodile—the biggest crocodile ever caught in the Philippines—is restrained on September 4, according to the Associated Press.
The 2,369-pound (1,075-kilogram) crocodile is suspected of attacking several people and killing two. The animal, named Lolong, survived capture and is being held in a temporary enclosure in the village of Consuelo, near Bunawan township (map).
Federal wildlife officials are trying to confirm whether the reptile is the largest crocodile ever captured, Theresa Mundita Lim, of the Philippines’ Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau, told the AP.
The Guinness Book of World Records lists a 17.97-foot-long (5.48-meter-long), Australian-caught saltwater crocodile as the largest in captivity.
Yet herpetologist Brady Barr, host of the National Geographic Channel show Dangerous Encounters, said such claims rarely check out. (The National Geographic Society part-owns the Channel and wholly owns National Geographic News.)
“I’d be surprised if it was truly six meters,” Barr told National Geographic News, adding that a scientist would need to verify the claim.
Alligator biologist Allan Woodward agreed. “There’s never been a crocodile longer than approximately 18 feet [5.5 meters],” said Woodward, of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “That would be an exceptional jump.”
As for whether the crocodile is the perpetrator of the attacks, it’s impossible to know unless the animal is killed and cut open, Barr said. Officials did induce the animal to vomit, which produced no human remains.
“It’s great they didn’t kill it,” Barr said. “That’s commendable [and] very rare.”