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The Largest Crocodile in the World

Updated on February 10, 2018
Rosie writes profile image

Rosie was an elementary school teacher for 13 years, teaching grades 3-5. She is now a Library Media Specialist in an elementary school.

How Big Is the Largest Crocodile In the World?

According to, "Lolong is the largest crocodile in captivity. He is an Indo-Pacific or Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) measured at 20 feet 3 inches (6.17 m), making him one of the largest crocodiles ever measured from snout-to-tail. Lolong was caught in a Bunawan creek in the province of Agusan del Sur in the Philippines on September 3, 2011. He is estimated to be at least 50 years old."

Even though Lolong is officially the largest crocodile in the world, a very close second is right here in the United States. According to the online Animal Encyclopedia, "The largest captive crocodile alive in the U.S. is located in South Carolina. In June 2002, Alligator Adventure introduced Utan, born in 1964 in Thailand. At 20 feet (6.1 m) long and weighing in at more than a ton, "Utan", the largest crocodile to ever be exhibited in the United States, made his new home in Myrtle Beach."

The head of Utan taken from one side of the enclosure.
The head of Utan taken from one side of the enclosure. | Source
Utan stretched out beside a canoe.
Utan stretched out beside a canoe. | Source
The tail of the Utan taken from the opposite side of the enclosure.
The tail of the Utan taken from the opposite side of the enclosure. | Source
Several large crocodiles being fed.
Several large crocodiles being fed. | Source

Where I Found the Largest Crocodile in the United States

It was painfully humid the day we saw him. The heat was inescapable in mid-July almost the entire day. In South Carolina, this was the way it was. So we went that day to see crocodiles. They were everywhere. And we saw him, the world's largest crocodile.

Barefoot Landing brought us to this place called Alligator Adventure. To get there, we walked on wooden bridges over large stretches of swampy, turtle-filled water. Once throught the gate, a Jurassic-Park type adventure awaited us.

Although no dinosaurs were present, hundreds of incredibly unusual alligators and crocodiles surrounded us. Some of them were massive in size, others were small, but still ominous. Their eyes followed you. They were from all over the world, placed in this lush, verdant, and beautiful man-made habitat.

We sat and sweated through the live animal show. The very knowledgeable presenter was dripping with sweat too as she taped a young alligator's mouth shut and brought him around for onlookers to touch. She explained why the turtles were able to sit on top of the crocodiles and get free rides without being harmed. The crocodiles were very well-fed.

We watched in amazement as enormous crocodiles flung their huge bodies out of the water to grab large parts of chickens from handlers. Their heads looked prehistoric.

As we continued through the park, we stumbled upon a huge enclosure unlike the others. This one had two chain link fences, one inside the other. And this enclosure had no openings, completely closing off any open spaces. What was in there, we were wondering as we approahed it. Then we saw him. He was laying next to a red canoe. Most of his body hidden by the murky water, led to an enormous tail that could be seen through a porition of the water where the light passed through. A sign hung nearby saying his name was UTAN - King of the Crocs.

Utan was quite impressive in size. He was at least a few feet longer than the canoe and incredibly thick. He was very still and hard to see through the enclosure. I would have liked to have seen him move about. I felt a bit sorry for him, stuck in a pen, when it seemed like he should be swimming in a large river somewhere, at his 54 years of age. Although I did not get to see Utan move, I did find a video showing Utan being fed. He is enormous-looking as he crawls slowly on land.


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