Gustave: The Largest Killer Crocodile In The World
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.
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.