Lolong Body by Gregg YanYou passed away too soon,

only two years in captivity.

Agusan del Sur lost a mascot and tourism hero

The  Philippines mourns your fame and  huge potentials

We applaud your determination to survive

And exist while the dinosaurs could not

You showed those creatures of your time how resilient you are

Too bad those triceratops, tyrannosaurus rex and other Mesozoic creatures

Were not flexible or smart enough to follow your footsteps.

Though that’s great news for the humans.

A shock indeed that you had fallen to humans’ presumptuous behaviour

Man needs to learn more before taking your kind out of your element

Only two kinds exist in the country, both endangered species

Freshwater crocodiles with sharp grooves down its nape,

Found in Mindanao and Isabela

Saltwater crocodiles with a smooth neck, and which you fall under

The thought of bumping into you swimming from island to island

definitely scares the wits out of us

Along with the thought you could live a hundred years.

Your fame reached the books of Rizal, as you played the villain with Elias.

After Ibarra of Noli Me Tangere came a succession of killers

But aside from terrorizing islanders in your area, you enrich the ecosystems

Each croc recycles nutrients through defecation and fertilization

Removing you ends the ecosystem cycle.

Where there are crocodiles, there will be fish.

We just hope in the future that others like you

will experience responsible rescue and conservation efforts

as humans and crocs co-habit the earth without terminating each other.

For now, the largest crocodile on earth is no longer with us,

So long, Lolong

Lolong Measurements by Gregg Yan (May 2012)