Gustave the killer croc

Gustave the killer croc

Every culture has its monsters. The Scots have the reclusive Nessie; the Nepalese have fierce Yetis; and Americans have their beloved loner, Big Foot. However, only one monster in the world stands accused of killing hundreds people—Gustave, the maneating croc of Burundi. And after 16 months of inactivity, he’s back. The prolific Nile croc, known to troll the waters of Lake Tanganyika, has reappeared several miles west of the Rusizi Delta on the lake’s northern shore, as reported by Patrice Faye, the self-taught naturalist who has dedicated his life to tracking the beast.

ADVENTURE first wrote about Gustave and Faye in our March 2005 issue (see Bobby Models’s images in a photo gallery). At that point, Faye estimated that the crocodile was 60 years old, measured 20 feet, and weighed in at a whopping one ton. Also, unlike his more apocryphal monster cousins, Gustave is most definitely a real beast and a confirmed killer. Records of his attacks on villagers living on the northeastern shores of Lake Tanganyika date back to 1987. Although it is doubtful that one crocodile could be responsible for all of the deaths pinned on Gustave, eyewitness reports almost invariably describe an abnormally large croc with the same scar on the top of its head, which Faye thinks is the mark left by an old gun shot wound.

As we reported in 2005, Gustave’s killer reputation may stem in part from being a bit player in an altogether more sinister drama that has engulfed the region for the last 50 years. Civil unrest, ethnic tensions, and violence have marked the history of Burundi since it gained independence from Belgium in 1962. In 1993, an all-out civil war broke out between rival Hutu and Tutsi ethnic factions lasting more than ten years killing some 200,000 Burundians. It is also important to note that the Rusizi River separates Burundi from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, two countries whose own histories of civil unrest are amongst the most horrific in modern history.

Even if Gustave hasn’t devoured as many people as some reports suggest, there is little doubt that the big croc is still alive and well. And like all great monsters it is often difficult to decipher the truth from the conjecture. The one certainty is that his legend will terrify and thrill people long after he has disappeared into the murky waters for good.

Source: http://ngadventure.typepad.com/blog/2009/03/serial-killer-croc-gustave-spotted-in-burundi.html

 

Gustave (crocodile)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gustave is a large male Nile crocodile living in Burundi. In 2004 he was estimated to be 60 years old, 20 feet (6.1 m) in length and to weigh around 1 ton. He is rumoured to have claimed as many as 300 humans from the banks of the Ruzizi River and the northern shores of Lake Tanganyika. Though that number is difficult to prove, Gustave has attained a near-mythical status and is greatly feared by people in the region. Scientists and herpetologists who have studied Gustave claim that his uncommon size and weight impedes the crocodile’s ability to hunt the species’ usual, agile prey such as fish, antelope and zebra, forcing him to attack larger animals such as hippopotamus, large wildebeest and, to some extent, humans. According to a popular local warning, he is said to hunt and leave his victims’ corpses uneaten.[1]

Capture attempt

Gustave was named by Patrice Faye, a French resident of Burundi and self-taught naturalist who has been pursuing the crocodile since 1998. Faye and a documentary team attempted to capture Gustave in 2002 using an enormous trap.[2] After using live chicken as bait, the team decided it would be more effective to use a live goat instead. One stormy night, the camera installed in the cage to film Gustave’s capture went out due to the weather conditions. The next day, the cage was found destroyed and partially submerged in the water. With no visual evidence as to what happened, and being forced to leave Burundi due to political tensions, the team could only guess as to what exactly happened that night. The ill-fated attempt was detailed in a documentary titled Capturing the Killer Croc, which aired on PBS in May 2004.[3]

Recent

Gustave was sighted most recently in February 2008 by National Geographic sources.[4] In parts of Asia and Australia saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) of 6 metres (20 ft) long are occasionally reported; individuals of 7 metres (23 ft) long have also been reported. In eastern India the Guinness Book of World Records has confirmed the existence of a 7 metre individual.[5] Therefore, Gustave is not the absolute largest crocodile existing today, but he is far larger than the average male Nile and Saltwater crocodile. He is known for the few distinct bullet scars that cover his body: one on his head and three on his right side.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustave_%28crocodile%29

Gustave is a large male Nile crocodile living in Burundi. In 2004 he was estimated to be 60 years old, 20 feet (6.1 m) in length and to weigh around 1 ton. He is rumoured to have claimed as many as 300 humans from the banks of the Ruzizi River and the northern shores of Lake Tanganyika. Though that number is difficult to prove, Gustave has attained a near-mythical status and is greatly feared by people in the region. Scientists and herpetologists who have studied Gustave claim that his uncommon size and weight impedes the crocodile’s ability to hunt the species’ usual, agile prey such as fish, antelope and zebra, forcing him to attack larger animals such as hippopotamus, large wildebeest and, to some extent, humans. According to a popular local warning, he is said to hunt and leave his victims’ corpses uneaten.[1]

Source: http://ngadventure.typepad.com/blog/2009/03/serial-killer-croc-gustave-spotted-in-burundi.html

2 Responses to “Gustave the killer croc”

  1. Lyndon says:

    Lolong from the philippines is the largest and it’s official. If you want crocodile bigger that Lolong, just head to Philippine Congress and see them there…

  2. Karen says:

    When Lolong died, he was 20 feet, 3 in., and he was around 89 years old. Gustave isn\\\\’t dead yet, and he\\\\’s a little over 20 years younger than Lolong–so with that in mind, who knows how large Gustave will actually get. (Lolong died in February 2013, according to the various articles I\\\\’ve read about him.)

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