Cassius celebrates his birthday (photograph by Jemma Craig, courtesy Marineland Melanesia)
On the small teardrop of a landmass called Green Island on the Barrier Reef of Queensland, Australia, the population of crocodiles rivals that of humans. And among the 50 reptilian residents who dwell at the Marineland Melanesia crocodile habitat is a colossus known as Cassius, who holds the hefty title of the world’s biggest crocodile.
This month, the 17-foot-long Cassius celebrated his 110th birthday with a celebration capped by a giant cake of chicken necks, the Herald Sun reported. ”He destroyed it in about 30 seconds,” Billy Craig, Marineland Melanesia crocodile wrangler, noted to AAP.
Cassius the crocodile (via ABC)
Cassius was caught back in 1984 when he was creating a nuisance by chomping on some motorboats. No one wanted the massive crocodile, so the family-owned Marineland Melanesia took him in. According to his Guiness World Record tribute, he’s “thought to be a man-eater,” but no evidence is presented.
He’s held the title of biggest crocodile in captivity since 2011, but was briefly dethroned by a proven man-eater: Lolong in the Philippines. Lolong was captured in 2011 after a schoolgirl’s head was bitten off and a fisherman was devoured, the Telegraph reported. Yet that scaly behemoth died of an unexplained illness earlier this year, leaving Cassius, who is indeed named for the famed boxer, to again stand victorious.
George Craig feeding Cassius (via AFP)
Of course, this is likely all the same to Cassius as long as he gets his next meal, and while there was grand celebrating with the raw meat cake and a hearty singing of happy birthday, no one can be quite sure how old the crocodile is. But his caring keepers thought it was about time for the aging crocodile, who is definitely over the century, to have a birthday. And he’s in great shape for his age with all of his teeth. As Craig said to the Cairns Post earlier this year: He might outlive us all.”
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CASSIUS: MARINELAND MELANESIA, Green Island, Australia