PETA Calls On Bunawan To Keep Crocs In The Wild After Death Of Lolong

Necropsy Reveals That Unnatural Enclosure Killed Animal

For Immediate Release:

April 3, 2013

Manila — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia is calling on Bunawan officials to provide assurance that they won’t allow any more crocodiles to be taken from the wild, following the release of the necropsy performed on a wild-born crocodile named Lolong and an independent review of the report from wildlife veterinarians. The necropsy found that Lolong died from late-stage pneumonia, cardiac failure, multiple organ failure, and non-adaptive stress response—all of which can be attributed to his captivity. PETA applauds the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau for taking a strong stance against the poor conditions in which Lolong was held captive.

In the wild, crocodiles spend hours swimming and can regulate the buoyancy and temperature—called thermo-regulation—of their bodies. Lolong lived for 18 months in a concrete pen with a shallow pond and was denied access to water deep enough to submerge himself and float, which is essential to the well-being of crocodiles. In addition, he was continuously exposed to the sun during the daytime. His inability to float in the shallow pond, combined with the constant pressure of the concrete floor on his underside and constant exposure, left him unable to thermo-regulate. The necropsy reads, “Thermo-regulation is the most important behavioral adaptation of reptiles, and should have been provided as an integral part of the animals’ management.”

PETA has learned that the Bunawan government plans to capture another large crocodile and is asking officials to enact a policy against the future capture and confinement of crocodiles. PETA suggests that the government instead create tours for visitors to see crocodiles in their natural habitat.

“Lolong would not have died if he hadn’t been captured, imprisoned, and confined to a totally inadequate concrete enclosure for the past 18 months,” says PETA Campaigns Manager Rochelle Regodon. “PETA urges Bunawan not to make this same fatal mistake again. Leave crocodiles in the wild, where they belong.”

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