BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/26 February) – ‘Lolong’, which landed on the Guinness as the world’s largest crocodile in captivity, died of pneumonia and cardiac arrest, the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said in a report released days after its first necropsy on the animal.
PAWB made the necropsy at the eco-park in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur where the crocodile had been kept after its capture at the Agusan Marsh by a local hunter after whom it was named.
“Lolong had difficulty in breathing due to the wound in his lungs and heart leading to pneumonia and cardiac arrest. He was exposed to the conditions he was not used to; it will really result to low resistance,” said PAWB director Dr. Theresa Mundita-Lim.
The report added the crocodile’s resistance might have dramatically decreased after it was taken out of its natural habitat.
Lim said Lolong should have been kept in an area that simulated its habitat in the wild.
“There is a huge difference comparing the cage he was in to that of the wild. In the wild he was able to move in a much wider space and swim properly,” she said.
Mario Eludo, PAWB Caraga regional director explained that more tests were needed to further understand how Lolong died.
“We know it was cardiac arrest and pneumonia but we still need to find out how it led to such. Laboratory tests on the internal organs are still being conducted at the University of the Philippines. This will help us figure out how he got the disease,” said Eludo.
Bunawan Mayor Edwin Elorde said he could not find any reason for the crocodile’s death.
“We took very good care of Lolong, [we] even gave him essential vitamins. We cannot see any reason because everything that was recommended to us, we followed all of it,” he said.
The mayor said it was possible Lolong was already sick prior to his capture. (Erwin Mascarinas/MindaNews)