Gone too soon: Crying real tears for Lolong
MANILA, Philippines - It was a sad day for pet lovers like me when we got the news that Lolong, the world’s largest crocodile in captivity, had passed away.
I was not sad at all for the ecopark in Agusan de Sur, which had made a measly P2 million off Lolong. I was sad that Lolong had lost his life because we humans can be so selfish.
I was even a bit appalled at the behavior of Mayor Edwin Elorde of Bulawan, Agusan del Sur, when he made the announcement of the death of Lolong. Tears and sadness, really? Was it because the croc died or because he would lose money from it no longer being there?
I remember the day Lolong was caught. I also remember telling everyone I knew that the croc should be set free. After all, Lolong did no crime, he was behaving like a croc when he supposedly ate a child in the swamps. I even pointed out that perhaps the child should not have been wandering about in the swamps.
I know it can sound heartless, but if the swamp was known to have housed a crocodile then maybe the wanderers in the area should have been more prudent?
Where in this civilized world is a creature caught in the wild put in a small river and kept in captivity? How did they expect Lolong to live in such conditions?
Why can’t we accept the fact that this country of ours does not have the space or the facilities to keep animals from the wild in good health? Perhaps it would have even been better if we had allowed another country that is better equipped to take Lolong from us — and let him live in peace?
I was at the Philippine Eagle so-called sanctuary in Davao a few years back and I was told that we can’t even be sure that the Philippine Eagles we breed in captivity will ever see the wild. Why? Because our country does not have the forest cover for it — and when people see the eagle in the wild, they shoot them.
Or if the eagles don’t have food and they go down to the farms, they are likely to get electrocuted because of the wires around these areas.
So why even try to breed the Philippine Eagles here? Why can’t we breed them here and release them in a place where there are forests with fruit-bearing trees?
But, I digress.
In the Twitter universe, 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 3-week hunt, after a spate of attacks on local residents ended in its capture. Lolong, who measured 20 feet and 4 inches and weighed an estimated one tonne, was the biggest croc ever caught.
According to a spokesperson from the mayor's office, Lolong swallowed a nylon cord 3 weeks ago. That was when he started having chronic diarrhea, after which his stomach started swelling. His official cause of death, however, is still unknown.
A nylon chord — pathetic.
Now, can we please send Mali, the elephant at Manila Zoo, to a sanctuary where she can live out the rest of her life in peace? - Rappler.com