National Geographic : 1996 Jun
Cassius, largest crocodile in captivity, lunges after a cam era that has been substituted for his weekly meal of a pig's head. The palatalvalve in his throatis shut, a necessity to avoid drowning when a croc opens its mouth underwater. Cassiuslives in Marineland Melanesia, a wildlife park owned by GeorgeJ. Craig, a veteran of 40 years of croc hunting. "He is a true 18 footer and weighs about 1,600 pounds. He would be, I reckon, 90 years old. "They don't change much in captivity. I've put a female in with him and that keeps him happy. If there was an othermale in there, he'd kill it. "His eyes will let you know what's going on. After I drop his food, they'll still follow me. Even after all these years, if I make a mistake, I've had it," Craigsays. Cassius snaps his jaws shut with a soft thun derclap and falls back into his duckweed-filled pond.