Posted: Feb 10, 2013 10:43 AM by BARNABY LO - CBS News
MANILA, PHILIPPINES The world's largest crocodile in captivity, Lolong, has died. Mayor Edwin Elorde of Bulawan, a small town in the southern Philippines that had been home to the giant croc, made the announcement Sunday.
There was an immediate outpouring of grief among social media users, with some Filipinos even suggesting that the country declare a national day of mourning in honor of Lolong's memory.
Lolong rose to worldwide fame in September 2011 after a three-week hunt due to a spate of attacks on local residents ended in its capture. The sheer size of Lolong - who measured 20 feet and four inches and weighed an estimated one ton - captivated people all over the world and made it an instant celebrity.
The local government had since kept Lolong in captivity at a wildlife sanctuary in the hopes of boosting tourism, but the hype surrounding the giant reptile - believed to be around 50 years old - had since subsided.
The exact cause of Lolong's death is not yet known but earlier reports point to a "ballooned" stomach and a loss in appetite.
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