MANILA, Philippines—An animal rights group implicitly blamed the death of the crocodile Lolong on its captivity.
In a statement, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) said the death of Lolong was “tragic but, sadly, not surprising,” and added: “Scientific studies have shown that captive animals die younger than their wild counterparts.”
“Lolong suffered and died because people wanted to make money off [its] captivity,” Peta said, noting that the crocodile had spent its last
18 months in a concrete pen instead of in the Agusan Marsh, where the crocodile belonged.
“Crocodiles shun contact with humans, and captive crocodiles like Lolong never become tame,” Peta said. “No zoo can come close to providing what even small crocodiles need, much less a crocodile the size of Lolong.”
The group said crocodiles were born to roam freely and seek out mates on their own and hunt for food, and such instincts could not be replicated in captivity.
“When you consider the immense size and strength of Lolong, there is no doubt that being contained in a cramped enclosure caused [it] extreme distress and misery,” Peta said.
The group expressed hope that Lolong’s death would motivate the government to avoid capturing animals from the wild only to lock them up in cages. It cited the case of Mali, the elephant at Manila Zoo, which it said had already been accepted in a sanctuary, “where her life expectancy and happiness can be increased.”