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Thursday, September 20, 2012

LOLONG: HOW AN ENORMOUS REPTILE GOT ITS NAME

Every Filipino, for sure, has heard about the world’s largest crocodile in captivity. A Guinness World Records holder, Lolong measures 20.24 feet (6.17 meters) long. Once a dweller in Agusan Marsh in Mindanao Island, this gigantic saltwater lizard was suspected of fatal attacks, killing two people. He was captured on September 2011.

Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde measuring Lolong. Photo by http://newsinfo.inquirer.net   
Personally, I have met Lolong in his enclosure in Bunawan Eco-Park and Research Center in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur. He is now one of the tourist attractions in the area. 



His size and fierceness slightly frightened me (not unless he broke out).

His aged skin and algae-filled teeth could tell his long existence. 

The name LOLONG, though, never stimulated my curiosity. All that interested me about him was only his world-record-breaking size. Anyway, how did he get the name LOLONG?

My second visit to Puerto Princesa led me to an apprehension on how (and why) LOLONG got his name. A friend from Iwahig (Jasper Camacho) personally told me all about the naming. Really that was the first time I heard about it, though the info has already flooded the web.

When we toured at the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center, I not just saw the different endangered animals, birds and reptiles being preserved.

And it was not just about eating “Crocodile Sisig”. 
  
More interestingly, I learned about its former worker, ERNESTO “Lolong” CONATE, one of the crocodile experts tapped to hunt the crocodile (the other Lolong) in the wild Agusan marsh. Not long before the crocodile was captured, heart attack claimed Mr. Conate’s life (while sleeping). 

So when the crocodile was finally captured, everyone agreed to name it after him.

SADLY, this reptile was declared dead on the night of February 10, 2013 due to nylon cord ingestion--- an incident accounted to someone's irresponsibility. Mr. Conate's memory will then be phased out. Dying is also the tourism activity in Bunawan brought by the then presence of LOLONG, the croc.

So long... 

2 comments:

  1. now I know how it "lolong" got its name. Mostly from its caretaker.:-).

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    Replies
    1. sadly, both lolongs (the croc and the hunter) are now but history...

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