Lolong, world's largest captive crocodile, dies in Philippines
February 11, 2013 -- Updated 1035 GMT (1835 HKT)
(File) Lolong is seen here in a caged pen in the southern Philippine town of Bunawan on September 21, 2011.
- A post-mortem is being carried out to determine the cause of death
- Lolong, a saltwater crocodile, was captured in September 2011
- He had been linked to attacks on people and livestock
- A Philippine government official says his death is a big loss for conservation efforts
(CNN) -- "So long, Lolong."
That was the phrase echoing around social media on Monday after news emerged the night before that Lolong, the world's largest crocodile in captivity, had died in the southern Philippines.
The outpouring of online shock and grief over the demise of the heavyweight reptile, which was more than 6-meters (20-feet) long, could be considered a little surprising, given suspicions Lolong may have been involved in at least two lethal attacks on people before he was captured in 2011.
But his world-beating size earned him an entry in the Guinness World Records and drew tourists to his enclosure at the Davao Crocodile Park in a remote corner of the Philippine island of Mindanao.
His death, the cause of which is still to be determined by a post-mortem, prompted tributes from top Philippine officials.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje called it a significant loss to the country's crocodile conservation program, describing Lolong as an "ambassador," according to CNN affiliate ABS-CBN News.
But the 1,075-kilo (2,370-pound) crocodile's legacy will live on, Paje said, since officials plan to preserve his capacious skin so that it can be stuffed and mounted.
Wildlife authorities caught Lolong in September 2011, the result of a long effort to track him down after a young girl was reportedly killed in the Agusan Marsh on Mindanao in 2009. The later disappearance of a fisherman from the nearby village of Bunawan was also linked to crocodiles. Attacks on livestock were also reported.
But it was unclear if Lolong, a saltwater crocodile, was responsible for the attacks, so authorities made him the star of the show at the crocodile park near Bunawan.
He was reportedly named after local hunter Ernesto "Lolong" Conate, who died of a stroke while helping plan the capture of the gargantuan creature.
Before the giant crocodile died, park attendants had noticed that his right stomach was bloated, Edwin Elorde, the mayor of Bunawan said, according to ABS-CBN.
Elorde expressed support for the idea of preserving Lolong, so that villagers "can still see him."
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.