Thursday, February 03, 2011
Hunters haven't killed him. Soldiers with automatic rifles haven't killed him. Even a bad movie, Primeval, only enhanced his legend. Gustave, the world's biggest and most dangerous Nile crocodile, is still snatching people in Burundi. This article (and an Update article linked on the same site) describe him as a monster, probably 20 feet long and weighing around a ton, and distinguished by bullet scars as well as by size. Half again as long as a normal mature croc, Gustave has been blamed for 300 deaths. Scientists reject this figure, but no one doubts he has a fondness for easily-caught humans. As important as it is to halt his depredations, scientists also hope that he can be taken alive and continue passing on his genes. Herpetologists were stunned that a croc this size still lived in the wild, surviving both legal and illegal hunting, and even people out to kill him speak of him with a kind of respect.