Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lolong Will Be Released Back Into the Wild

After months in captivity, “Lolong” - possibly the world’s largest saltwater crocodile captured - may soon find itself back in the wild.

In his report on GMA News’ “24 Oras” Wednesday night, Ian Cruz said the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is currently determining the proper time when Lolong should be released back to the Agusan Marsh.

’Yung assessment nung area is ongoing sa Agusan para malaman na kung ano talaga yung condition d’un. Sana makakita na tayo d'un ng sanctuary eventually para kay Lolong kung saan pwede siyang i-reintroduce,” Theresa Mundita Lim, PAWB director, said in the report.

Lolong, measuring 20.3 feet, was captured in the Agusan Marsh in September after reports of missing residents. It now lives in a pen in Bunawan in Agusan del Sur.

Lim said Lolong is presently “doing very well.”

Lolong, according to Australian zoologist and crocodile expert Dr. Adam Britton, is the world's biggest saltwater crocodile in captivity. The Guinness Book of World Records, however, has yet to confirm this.

At present, Australia’s “Cassius Clay,” 18 feet, still holds the title as the world’s largest crocodile in captivity.

The “24 Oras” report said there were sightings of another large crocodile, believed to be Lolong’s mate, in the Agusan Marsh.

Meanwhile, environmentalist group Haribon Foundation said “protected areas” are needed for the survival of crocodiles.

What we need are protected areas kung saan makaka-survive ‘yung crocodiles in their natural habitat na walang masyadong taong nasa loob ng protected areas,” Don Geoff Tabaranza, Haribon’s research specialist, said.

Tabaranza said crocodiles become dangerous to humans when they stray from their natural habitat, which happens if they are not satisfied with available preys there.

One factor could be, ‘yung malalaking crocodiles they need bigger prey siguro hindi na sila na kukuntento sa maliliit na isda. They have to eat livestock or even human na maaabutan nila,” he said.

The report said crocodile attack on humans should be investigated first to determine the crocodile involved. Residents are discouraged from catching a crocodile on mere suspicion that it is the creature that perpetrated the attack.

The TV report said crocodiles in the country are mostly found in Isabela, Palawan, Siargao, Agusan Marsh at Liguasan Marsh.

On Valentine’s day, two other saltwater crocodiles – "Valentino" and "Valentina" – were caught in Palawan after reportedly attacking a human.

- Source


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