Step aside, Cassius, here comes ‘Lolong’
Sydney—An Australian crocodile called Cassius Clay on Thursday was declared the biggest in captivity by Guinness World Records, although his reign may be brief after reports of a rival giant emerged from the Philippines.
Measuring just under 5.5 meters and weighing close to a ton, Cassius was captured in Northern Territory in 1984.
Named after the legendary boxer, better known as Muhammad Ali, the gigantic reptile has called the Marineland Melanesia crocodile park on Green Island, off the far north Queensland coast, home for the past 24 years.
Guinness World Records spokesperson Chris Sheedy said Cassius was one of a few record holders to be honored with a double-page spread in the 2012 Book of Records.
“We thought this record was so amazing that it deserved its own two-page spread and that’s now going out in four million copies worldwide,” he told Australian Associated Press.
However, Sheedy said the crocodile’s record may be brief following reports earlier this month of a monster 6.4-meter beast that was trapped in the southern Philippines.
“Until it’s in acceptable captivity, which is humane and professional, and until it has been properly measured we can’t accept it,” Sheedy said of Cassius Clay’s rival.
Caught in the marshlands of Agusan del Sur province in Mindanao, the male Philippine crocodile is suspected of eating a farmer who went missing in July and of killing a 12-year-old girl whose head was bitten off.
Its captors have nicknamed it Lolong in memory of the veteran reptile handler who set the traps. The handler, who worked for a government-run wildlife conservation center, died of a heart attack days before the crocodile was caught. Reports from AFP and Inquirer archives
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