A hunting team in the southern Philippines caught a 21-foot crocodile over the weekend that has been blamed for a pair of fatal attacks – but already some villagers are fearing that the ensuing celebration was premature.
The captured saltwater crocodile weighs 2,370 pounds, is estimated to be at least 50 years old and is believed to be the largest ever captured, the Associated Press reports. It took roughly 100 people to pull the beast from a creek by rope and then hoist it by crane onto a truck.
Villagers suspect the animal of fatally attacking a farmer in the town of Bunwan, as well as a 12-year-old girl who was killed in 2009. "The community was relieved," Rollie Sumiller, one of the crocodile hunters who led the three-week hunt for the beast, told the National Post.
But Sumiller and other villagers are not resting easy just yet. "We’re not really sure if this is the man-eater, because there have been other sightings of other crocodiles in the area," Sumiller said. In an telephone interview with the AP, he elaborated on the other sightings, saying "there is a bigger one, and it could be creating problems."
The local government in Bunwan, where the crocodile was caught, said that it would not kill the animal and would instead establish a nature park where tourists could visit the enormous animal. "He’s a problem crocodile that needs to be taken from the wild … and used for eco-tourism," Bunwan Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde told reporters.
Here's a better look at the beast: