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CAUGHT: World’s big­gest rep­tile is 21 feet long and weighs 170 STONE (that’s ELEVEN Heathers from

Midweek Sport - - FRONT PAGE - By JUSTIN DUNN

A MAN-EAT­ING mon­ster crocodile is be­ing hailed as the big­gest EVER caught alive.

The 170 stone, 21-foot-long rep­tile — that’s eaten at least one fish­er­man alive — was cap­tured after a three-week hunt.

A hun­dred men took part in the painstak­ing search for the crocodile in a creek in the Philippines. Vil­lagers had lived in fear of the scaly beast for more than 20 years.

Its near­est ri­val in the mon­ster stakes is Cas­sius, an Aus­tralian salt­wa­ter croc on the loose in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory that mea­sures a “mere” 18ft.

Threat

This crocodile prowled a river sys­tem in Agu­san, a poverty stricken area 500 miles south east of the Philippines cap­i­tal Manila.

It’s been a con­stant threat to vil­lagers but un­til now they had been too scared to go after it.

But when a lo­cal fish­er­man went miss­ing a month ago the mas­sive croc be­came the num­ber one sus­pect.

And when it was fi­nally spot­ted chomp­ing down on a huge wa­ter buf­falo they knew their sus­pi­cions were cor­rect.

Agu­san mayor Ed­win Elorde said: “It is a mon­ster. It is so big it could swal­low three men all at once.”

It took the 100 men a day to haul the huge crea­ture onto the banks of the creek be­fore bind­ing it and us­ing a crane to load it on a truck.

De­spite eat­ing the un­lucky fish­er­man the croc — which has yet to be named — is now set to be­come the star at­trac­tion at a new eco-tourism park in the area.

Around 37,000 peo­ple live in Agu­san and they’ve been warned not to be com­pla­cent even though the mon­ster has been caught.

Many other large croc­o­diles re­main in the rivers, and peo­ple have been warned not ven­ture in the marsh ar­eas at night.

BIG CROC: Vil­lagers

de­cide they’ve all got the big­gest!

CROC’S A-WEIGH: Beast’s as big as

eleven Heathers

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