Lolong's skin will be preserved - DENR

Posted at 02/11/13 4:14 PM

The remains of Lolong, the 21-feet (6.4 metres) saltwater crocodile recognized by the Guinness World Records as the world's largest in captivity, is covered with ice at a conservation park in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur on Monday. Lolong weighed more than 1,000 kg and was captured in September 2011. Photo by Reuters

MANILA - Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said the skin of Lolong, which died from yet unknown circumstances in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur on Sunday night, will be preserved.

Paje has sent a team, composed of representatives from the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) and the National Museum, to determine the cause of the death of the largest captive crocodile.

"The team will help ensure that the necropsy would be carried out in a manner that would make it possible to contribute Lolong's remains to taxidermy," he said.

Taxidermy is the art of preparing, stuffing, and mounting the skins of animals.

He said PAWB is closely coordinating with Bunawan Mayor Edwin Elorde and representatives of the National Geographic Channel (NGC) on the necropsy. It was NGC's crocodile specialist Dr. Adam Britton who measured Lolong.

Lolong was measured at 6.17 meters (20.24 feet), leading to a mid-2012 Guinness World Record award for being the largest living crocodile in captivity.

Paje said Lolong's death is a significant loss to the DENR and the country's crocodile conservation program, for which Lolong was considered an "ambassador" to help educate people on the importance of crocodiles in the natural web of life between predators and prey.

He said it was also "unfortunate" that Lolong died in the month of February, which is the National Wetlands Month.

Lolong died past 8 p.m. on Sunday, February 10, in his pen at the Bunawan Eco-Park and Research Center.

Lolong was a saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) captured at the Magsagangsang River in Bunawan in September 2011.

The crocodile reportedly attacked livestock and killed a 12-year-old girl in Lake Mihaba in 2009.