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Gustave: The Largest Killer Crocodile In The World

Updated on March 31, 2013

The Biggest Crocodile That Was Never Caught


The largest crocodile ever caught on film is Gustav. He has been considered a notorious maneater with over 300 victims. Of course being the biggest crocodile in the world this number could be embellished as stories surrounding the supercroc became legendary. The killer crocodile Gustav has been seen in the small country of Burundi located in Africa.

The problem with labeling Gustav as the biggest crocodile known to man is the fact that he has never been officialy measured. This is because the largest crocs on record have all been killed or captured at some point and various devices have been used to measure their length and girth so to document record size. Speculation of how many years it would take for a crocodile to grow to this massive size ranges anywhere from 50 to 100 years. Most scientists agree that Gustav is probably between 65 and 100 in order to achieve his amazing size.

Most recently spotted in 2008, Gustave has apparently not been found guilty of any recent killings. I watched a special on the search for Gustave the man eating crocodile back in 2005 and as the researchers built a special cage for the croc after over 2 weeks they still could not catch him. The video below is actual footage from that television special. I have always been facinated by large crocodiles since seeing that episode. I believe it was on National Geographic but could not find the information regarding exactly with who, and when, this attempted capture took place.

As you will see Gustav is approximately 2-3 time the size of an adult Nile crocodile. He has been known to eat full grown hippos and this is not typical as most crocodiles avoid conflict with these large animals. I find the footage fascinating and always look for any updates on Gustave.

Gustave Crocodile

Gustave The Killer Croc
Gustave The Killer Croc

Current Gustav Sightings

There doesn't seem to be any as of this writing in 2012. The last reported sighting was by a National Geographic team back in 2008. A french resident of Burundi named this large crocodile back in 1998. This is when he was spotted by the the self proclaimed naturalist and has been pursued by him ever since.

Some experts have estimated his size at 20 feet and Nile crocodiles have been known to get this large in the past. Some crocs have been measured as long as 23 feet and of course this would be even larger then Gustave. The problem is.....he cannot be captured or measured!

When I look at him by comparison to the other large nile crocodiles, I have to think that he is over 20 feet and probably closer to 25. Some others who are involved in the search for Gustave feel the very same way. Maybe it is just wishful thinking. It is cool to see such an enormous creature, but if he truly is a maneater, we are all better off with him keeping to himself.

Does Gustave Deserve Peace?

After all the talk about Gustave being a maneater, do you think he should be left alone? Considering he has not been spotted in over 3 years, maybe we are better off not hunting him and just letting things be. If he really is a killer, I understand the need to see him captured and destroyed, but are the stories true? Also, isn't he just doing what is needed to survive? Animals hunt and so do we. If my family had been eaten by this dinosaur, I would feel quite differently for sure.In the end, Gustave is now just another legend that stories will be told about for many years to come.


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    • profile image

      Joey Ballz 

      4 years ago

      I seen this croc while on a trip. He done ate his self a hippo. It was unreal! He is older than my Gam Gam was(rest her soul) this guy.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Is Gustave in captivity? :) Thanks.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I've study crocodiles for quite some time. From the videos I've seen of Gustave he's longer than 20ft. And well over a ton with his girth. Just because he hasn't been seen doesn't mean he's not around, he could've swam anywhere. A creature that's reportedly killed that many humans should be captured at least for science do to his size. But any crocs 15 or over would be opportunistic to take a human.

    • LucidDreams profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from St Petersburg, Florida

      Yeah, I don't think anyone will be having a duel with Gustav!

    • Sandy Frost profile image

      Sandy Frost 

      6 years ago from India

      This is really interesting to know about this 20 feet deadly creature that can swallow perhaps more than a dozen humans or more, as what I am assuming. Surely, nobody'll wish to have a duel with Gustav while encountering him face to face.

      Thanks for sharing this informative hub and nice video. Voted up.

    • LucidDreams profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from St Petersburg, Florida

      Yep, any croc will kill a human if they are easy prey. The don't have to be 20 something feet long to do it. Thanks for the comment......

    • littlethespians profile image


      6 years ago from Farmville, Virginia

      Good Hub, and great video, that croc needs to have his tyroid checked! Personally I agree with live and let live, and ALL crocs are killers, not just the big ones!

    • LucidDreams profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from St Petersburg, Florida

      Hi nicomp........I noticed that has been on for a few days but I watched it awhile back. Gustave may not be quite that large but still pretty scary something this big really does exist! Thank you for the comment!

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      I watched part of a movie last night called "Lake Placid" with a killer croc that dragged a full size brown bear from the shoreline into the lake. Betty White was in it, so it was really good.


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