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21-foot 'man-eating' crocodile caught in Philippines may be world's largest

The colossal croc weighs a tonne, literally, but was caught by villagers on Saturday and has quickly become an internet hit.

Image: Anonymous/AP

VILLAGERS IN THE PHILIPPINES have managed to catch a 21-foot-long, one-tonne crocodile which is suspected of having eaten a fisherman who went missing there two months ago.

The 1,075kg monster, measuring almost 6.5 metres in length, is the biggest to have been caught alive for years – and may be the largest specimen ever found.

“Based on existing records, the largest that had been captured previously was 5.48m [18 feet] long,” a wildlife bureau chief told AFP. “This is the biggest animal that I’ve handled in 20 years of trapping.”

The NY Daily News said the search for the saltwater crocodile began in mid-August, laying meat as bait, but the traps proved fruitless when the crocodile not only ate the meat,  when the creature was finally cornered on Saturday it still took dozens of local men to conquer it.

AFP said town officials in Bunawan believed the crocodile had also bitten off the head of a 12-year-old girl there in 2009.

The creature is not being put down, and will instead be brought to a local wildlife park where it will almost certainly be the new star attraction.

It cannot be confirmed, however, whether the captured croc is in fact the one that is responsible for the missing fisherman – and authorities are wary of similar creatures remaining at large.

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Gavan Reilly

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