Florida: Crocodile caught by zookeepers after escaping from van
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A giant man-eating crocodile who is said to have killed 300 people has avoided capture for years – despite the best efforts of hunters. Twenty-feet long, the Nile crocodile, who has been nicknamed Gustave, is a constant source of terror for locals in settlements near Lake Tanganyika, Burundi, East Africa. He has effectively become part of local folklore. It is unknown whether the enormous beast – which experts estimated to be over 100 years old – is still alive and looking for new prey, with no evidence suggesting he is dead.
While many have attempted to take down the huge croc, no one has succeeded. Some dispute the claim that Gustave is over a century old, arguing that due to his dental arch still being intact, his age is likely closer to 60.
Since Gustave has not been captured, his length and weight are unknown, but in 2002 it was stated that he could be more than 18 feet (5.5 m) long, and weigh more than 2,000 pounds (910 kg) – almost a tonne.
According to National Geographic, his attacks on people have been recorded as far back as 1987. Many deaths over the years have been attributed to tribal warfare, or even a serial killer – but many suspect Gustave is behind them.
Eyewitnesses often report similar characteristics, suggesting it often really is the same beast behind the various killings. They tend to recall an abnormally large croc with the same scar on the top of its head.
The mark is thought to be a bullet wound from one of the many failed attempts to stop Gustave.
A 2004 documentary, named Capturing the Killer Croc, attempted to catch the infamous monster. It follows what it describes as a “rescue mission” which “aims to catch this giant predator and relocate him to safe waters-before he kills again.”
However, repeated attempts at doing so came to no avail. The team attempted to lure the crocodile into a large trap using live bait and an infrared camera watching his movements.
First, they used a live chicken, dangling it above the water inside a cage. They later switched this out for a live goat when the chicken failed to draw Gustave’s eye.
However, this only resulted in further disaster.
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When they returned the next day, the trap lay wrecked in high waters following a storm, the camera left destroyed and and the footage unrecoverable. The goat was nowhere to be seen.
They hypothesised that Gustave may have successfully made off with it, destroying their carefully laid trap in the process.
It remains unknown whether the huge crocodile is still on the loose. Some have claimed he was killed in 2019, but with no evidence to prove it, the fear remains that Gustave is lurking under the waters to this day.
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