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Hunt for bigger croc in Agusan to start mid-November

BUNAWAN, Agusan del Sur, Oct. 26 – The hunt for another giant crocodile, believed to be Lolong’s companion and between 25-30 feet long, will start by mid-November after the P1.1-million special second cage is completed here.

Bunawan, Agusan del Sur Mayor Edwin Elorde said that construction of the second cage is already 80 percent complete.

“Hopefully by November 15, the second special cage built for the second giant crocodile is already completed and is ready for the occupant which is bigger, wider and fiercer than Lolong. By that we can already start the second hunt,” Elorde said.

Elorde said they are only following instructions from the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) not to start the hunt for the other giant crocodile if construction of the second cage is not yet finished.

“The concern is that even if we rescue the second giant crocodile at the Agusan Marsh where will we put it?” Elorde said.

“Had Lolong not rescued by now, he might have attacked persons and domesticated animals like carabaos in the area and the danger that Lolong might be killed by angry residents. Because prior to the rescue of Lolong, rumors were spreading that residents will poison Lolong,” he said.

Elorde has placed placards in the area where the giant crocodile was captured, stiffly warning residents not to go near the creek especially during nighttime.

Three days ago, Barangay Nueva Era residents and officials reportedly saw the heads of two giant crocodiles protruding in the creek where Lolong was captured which is part of the huge Agusan Marsh area.

Last September 30, Barangay Nueva Era residents also saw a giant crocodile roaming around as if searching for something in Barangay Nueva Era creek.

Crocodile experts and Mayor Elorde estimated that some 5,000 crocodiles can still be found in the Agusan Marsh. The rescued celebrity giant crocodile got its name “Lolong” from the Palawan-based crocodile expert who headed the hunt but died of heart attack days before Lolong was captured.

Bunawan MPDC official Engr Robert Floyd Salise said the second cage cost Bunawan LGU some P1.1 million while Lolong’s special cage cost P800,000.

“By November 15, tapos na yang second cage hopefully so that hunt for the second giant will start,” Salise told this writer in an interview at the Bunawan Municipal Hall on Tuesday evening. (PNA) LAP/LAM/BS/mec

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