Cassius the croc back on top after Lolong dies in the Philippines
King of the ring: Green Island's Cassius has regained his title as the biggest crocodile in the world in captivity.
THE Far North's resident giant saltie Cassius has reclaimed the crown of the world's largest crocodile in captivity.
Cassius, measuring a mammoth 5.48m, regained the position after the Philippines' own monster croc Lolong died last night.
Authorities will try to determine what caused the death of the 6.17m Lolong who had become a star attraction of the marshy town of 37,000 people about 830km southeast of Manila.
Some reports suggest the saltie had fallen ill after swallowing a nylon cord three weeks ago.
Experts estimate that the crocodile was more than 50 years old.
Green Island's Marineland Melanesia owner George Craig, who has been Cassius' keeper since he arrived in Cairns from the Northern Territory in 1987, said he was sad to hear of Lolong's death.
"I'm actually a little bit upset the damn think conked out," he said.
"He was a very big reptile but he was pretty young looking so he could have grown a little bit bigger."
But Mr Craig said Cassius was showing no signs of slowing down, despite estimates the croc is more than 100 years old.
"He's still going strong and he's got all his teeth still," Mr Craig said.
"He might outlive us all."
The croc has also become an international celebrity, with a video of Cassius produced by cairns.com.au attracting 2 million hits to date.
Cassius also found himself at the centre of the 2011 "croc off" between The Cairns Post and The Northern Territory News, sparking arguments over who laid claim to the massive reptile.
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Big beast: Cassius the crocodile is again the largest crocodile in the world after the death of another massive animal in the Philippines. Picture: Brendan Francis