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Posted by W von Papinešu on May 15, 2003 at 18:27:20:
AFRICAN CHURCH INFORMATION SERVICE 12 May 03 World's Largest Crocodile to Become a Tourist Attraction (Charles Bigirimana)
Bujumbura: The world's largest crocodile, which was recently discovered by a French environmentalist, Patrice Faye, on the Burundi side of the Rusizi Delta, will soon become a tourist attraction in the country.
The seven metre long reptile, weighing about a tonne, is believed to be between 80 and 100 years old.
Gustave, as the environmentalist named it, has devoured 17 known people this year alone. It is believed that it has been feeding on human flesh, mainly swimmers, for the last 30 years.
A documentary titled Discovery and Attempt to Capture Gustave, has already been produced by a French team called Gedeon Programme.
Another, titled If Gustave Was Captured, is in preparation.
The French team has failed twice to capture the crocodile. There are plans to make a third attempt during the period between May and December, when crocodile males eat and move less, while waiting for females. The best time is believed to be when there are no rains, when water levels are low.
Gustave is already attracting tourists despite the war on both sides of Rusizi River, along Burundi's border with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Two Burundi rebel groups, the National Council for Defence of Democracy-Forces for Defence of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), and the Party for Liberation of Hutu People (Palipehutu-FNL), are fighting government forces.
Environmentalists have already embarked on rehabilitation of Rusizi natural reserve - at the border between Burundi and the DRC - by clearing up roads leading to Gustave's habitat, as well as hiring uniformed guards. There are hopes that the capture of Gustave will generate publicity for the reserve.