Enormous saltwater crocodile captured on Tawi-Tawi Island

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saltwater crocodile
The enormous saltwater crocodile captured in Tawi-Tawi this morning. Photo courtesy of Chiquee Sapal Sumbing

An enormous 19-foot saltwater crocodile was captured by fishermen on Tawi-Tawi Island this morning (Friday, September 8).

The saltwater crocodile was first spotted by fishermen on Thursday afternoon.

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According to Ruben Balcorza, of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office of Simunul, a fisherman who saw the crocodile mistook it for a wooden log. When he approached it, he said he was shocked that it moved.

He immediately reported the incident to other fishermen and barangay officials, which prompted them to conduct an operation to capture the crocodile.

However, the crocodile was in no mood to go quietly. During the operation, it wrecked a boat and damaged a number of fishing nets.

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Mr Balcorza said the crocodile is now under the care of the municipal government. He was unable to give further details on what will happen to the creature.

According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), killing a crocodile is an offence that has a fine amounting to 100,000 pesos and imprisonment of up to six years.

Eight snappy saltwater crocodile facts:

1. The saltwater crocodile Crocodylus porosus is the world’s largest living reptile. Males can grow up to 19ft in length, but reports exist of individuals measuring 23ft.

2. Its range extends from northern Australia to eastern India and Southeast Asia.

3. The temperature of the nest in which eggs are laid determines the sex of the crocodile. Lower incubation temperatures produce mostly females; higher temperatures mostly males.

4. The creatures have long lifespans, with many living to more than 65 years.

5. They are known to be fantastic swimmers and can travel long distances by sea, sometimes as much as 900km.

6. Salties have a valve at the bottom of the mouth that seals it off from their throat, enabling them to open their mouths underwater.

7. They typically feed on fish, mammals and birds, preferring to hunt at night.

8. Salties are known for the ‘death roll’ — a hunting behaviour reserved for larger prey. After drowning its victim, the crocodile rapidly rolls it in the water in order to remove its limbs.

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