The town of Bunawan in the Philippines is in mourning. They lost their crocodile, Lolong yesterday. The cause of death has yet to be determined.
Lolong was estimated to be at least 50 years old and was the Guinness World Record holder of being the largest saltwater croc in captivity. He was named after the environmental officer who died of a heart attack while assisting in his capture.
Bunawan villagers are tremendously saddened by his passing even though in prior years the crocodile was blamed for the death of several individuals. There is a tribal funeral rite, complete with ritual sacrifices of chickens and pigs to thank the forest spirits, scheduled to be held at the ecotourism park where Lolong resided.
The local mayor, Edwin Elorde stated that Lolong would be preserved and returned to his place of honor. Philippine officials had planned on constructing a road to the park in order to make it more accessible to tourists. The article I read didn’t say if that project was still in the works, now that visitors would be viewing a stuffed carcass as opposed to a live crocodile.