September 12, 2011
Giant Croc Captured in Philippines Refuses To Eat - PETA Steps In
By Chad Love
Remember the giant saltwater croc that the residents of a Philippines village capture alive in hopes of turning it into a toothsome Mickey Mouse?
Well, apparently he's being a bit petulant about being captured and is refusing to eat.
From this AP story:
A 20-foot (6.1-meter) saltwater crocodile that may be the world's largest in captivity has not eaten for six days since its capture in a southern Philippine creek drew worldwide attention. Wildlife official Ronnie Sumiller, who led the hunt for the croc nicknamed "Lolong," said Friday the reptile is being closely observed for signs of stress. But he said it's normal for crocodiles to be stressed after being trapped and handled. Even in the wild, they don't normally eat daily, and a crocodile as huge as Lolong can go without food for up to six months, Sumiller told The Associated Press. Lolong has been placed in a 8,611-square-foot (800-square-meter) pen secured by 4-foot (1.22-meter) tall concrete walls topped by welded wire in Bunawan township, where he was caught last weekend.
"We came here to take a look, because it was reported that on the first few days of his capture ... there were big crowds and some would throw stones to make him move, so we were afraid he might become stressed," said Theresa Mundita Lim, director of the government's Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau. She flew from the capital to southern Agusan del Sur province Friday to talk with local officials about guidelines for onlookers and to inspect the crocodile's new home 515 miles (830 kilometers) southeast of Manila. Bunawan Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde said Lolong did not budge when a dead chicken was laid nearby to whet its appetite.
A dead chicken? Are you kidding? Can you blame him for not eating? He's 21 feet long, for crying out loud. He's the top of the food chain. He's suspected of dining on local fishermen. And they expect him to eat a dead chicken? My guess is the first drunk and/or stupid thrillseeker to climb over the fence will find out just how stressed 'ol "Lolong" really is.
And of course it didn’t take PETA long to figure out a publicity angle to exploit. Now the group is demanding that (what else?) Lolong be freed back to the primordial swamp from whence he was jerked
From this story on CNN:
Activists in the Philippines demanded this weekend that a giant crocodile captured last week be freed. The animal rights activists said the crocodile, which measures 21 feet and weighs 2,370 pounds, should be released back into the wild, reports the Associated Press. The mayor of the town, however, says freeing the crocodile would put the community's safety at risk and should remain in an eco-tourism park. The male reptile was caught last week after a 21-day hunt in the southern province of Agusan del Sur, Nine MSN reports
Wildlife officers had set traps after residents reported a series of attacks in the area. The operation involved 70 hunters, according to the Guardian. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said that if the saltwater crocodile, nicknamed Lolong, is not freed it will develop abnormal behaviors and could threaten the lives of visitors to the park, AP states. "It's clear that the promoters of this park are thinking only of their bank balance, without so much as an afterthought for the animal's well-being," said Ashley Fruno of PETA.