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Authorities unsure of what to do with giant crocodile

September 15, 2011

Recently, the largest live crocodile to-date was captured in the southwestern Philippines, and the 21-foot, 2,300-pound creature has stirred up quite a bit of controversy. Authorities believe the beast, named Lolong after its captor Ernesto "Lolong" Conate, is responsible for the deaths of a farmer and a 12-year-old girl, according to the Inquirer. It is currently being held captive, and many animal rights advocacy groups, including PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) are calling for Lolong's release.

The creature is one of about 7,000 captive crocodiles, the rest come from captive breeding programs, that are waiting for the government to decide whether to release them or not. Doing so could take them off of the Philippines' critically endangered species list, but many are hesitant due to the threat these reptiles present.

"The problem is, we cannot delist it yet because the rules say you can only delist from the endangered species list if it's already surviving in its natural habitat," environmental secretary Ramon Paje told the AFP. "There is no mayor anywhere in the Philippines who would allow the release of crocodiles in his municipality."

People can use calling cards to place calls to the Philippines to talk to their friends about the tale of Lolong and the other crocs as the story develops.

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