'Lolong' eco-park opens to public

Posted at 09/17/2011 10:02 PM | Updated as of 09/18/2011 11:40 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The eco-park built for the monster crocodile caught in Agusan del Sur has been opened to the public on Saturday.

The creature, named after Palawan crocodile hunter Ernesto “Lolong” Coñate, is believed to be the biggest saltwater crocodile in the world captured alive.

Visitors immediately flocked to Barangay Consuelo, Bunawan in Agusan del Sur where the park was built.

Visitors were charged entrance fees of P20 for adults and P15 for children. Senior citizens and persons with disabilities were let in for free.

The proceeds will be used for the both the park’s and the crocodile’s management.

Visitors came from as from as far as Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental—a 5-hour drive—to visit the crocodile.

To monitor the 20.1-foot-long creature, officials have installed 5 closed-circuit television cameras in the pen. However, the cameras are not yet working due to electrical problems.

Public viewing was previously prohibited but the Palawan Wildlife and Conservation Center gave local officials a go signal to allow visitors.

Meanwhile, another enclosure is currently under construction, following reports that a much bigger crocodile is still at large at the Agusan marsh. -- Report from Charmane Awitan, ABS-CBN Caraga