MANILA, Sept. 13 2011— Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos is opposing calls from an animal rights group to free a 21-foot-long giant crocodile to his natural habitat.
According to Pueblos, releasing “Lolong”, the world’s largest crocodile in captivity, would pose danger to the people.
“No, I am not for it… it may be dangerous,” he said in rejecting the call of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) following reports that the reptile is not eating while in captivity.
Over the weekend, PETA urged the local government Bunawan, Agusan del Sur to return the crocodile to the wild despite allegations that it was able to kill two people.
Captured last September 3, the saltwater crocodile has been placed in a penned pond raising concerns from the PETA that it may cause the crocodile a psychotic behavior.
“Actually the place where he is now has been there already for a long time. There are international people who went there and they were trying to build that,” said Pueblos.
“That’s why they are gathered in one place and I think they’ll find their habitat there much better,” he added.
The prelate also said that he learned that an international foundation for wildlife will take care of the food of the crocodile.
“They will be responsible for the food and everything once placed in a cage… maybe they are not yet here so we are hopeful they will be going there,” he said.
Pueblos added that the best long-term solution to prevent other crocodiles from threatening people in the area is to make sure that their habitat will not be destroyed.
“Many people are cutting trees there. It’s either they go out of the places where they are,” he said. [CBCPNews]