The saltwater crocodile named Lolong, which was captured last September in Bunawan town in Agusan del Sur province, measures 20.24 feet (6.17 meters) and weighs more than a ton, Guinness spokeswoman Anne-Lise Rouse said in a statement seen Sunday. The reptile took the top spot from an Australian crocodile which measured more than 17 feet (5 meters) and weighed nearly a ton.
Bunawan Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde said the news sparked celebrations in his farming town of 37,000 but also fostered concerns that more giant crocodiles might be lurking in a nearby marshland and creek where villagers fish.
"There were mixed feelings," Elorde said by telephone. "We're really proud because it proves the rich biodiversity of our place but at the same time, there are fears that Lolong may not be alone."
Lolong has become the star attraction of a new ecotourism park and research center in the outskirts of Bunawan and has drawn thousands of tourists since news of its capture spread. Elorde said his town has earned 3 million pesos ($72,000) from the modest entrance fees at the park, with most of the money being used to feed and care for the crocodile and for park maintenance.