Video shows a prop crocodile for Philippine TV show, not a real captured reptile

  • This article is more than one year old.
  • Published on June 30, 2022 at 08:17
  • 2 min read
  • By AFP Philippines
A video was viewed more than a million times on TikTok and Facebook alongside the false claim it shows one of the world's largest crocodiles captured in a populous city in the Philippines. In reality, the clip shows a prop crocodile for a Philippine television show.

The video -- which appears to show a crocodile tied to the back of a truck -- was posted on TikTok on June 25.

It was viewed over 1.6 million times with a Tagalog-language text overlay that translates as: "A CROCODILE AS LARGE AS LOLONG WAS CAUGHT IN ANTIPOLO".

Antipolo is a city east of the capital Manila with a population of close to 900,000 according to a recent census.

Lolong is a saltwater crocodile suspected of killing two people in the Philippines and captured in the Agusan marsh on the southern island of Mindanao in 2011.

The Guinness Book of World Records at the time declared Lolong the largest crocodile of its kind in captivity. The reptile died in 2013.

Screenshot of the false post taken on June 29, 2022

The video was shared alongside a similar claim on TikTok here and here; and on Facebook here and here.

Some social media users appeared to believe the crocodile shown in the clip was real.

"I think it will die soon after being caught," one user wrote in the comments.

"I can't believe something like that has been roaming around Antipolo all these years," another said.

Prop crocodile

However, keyword searches on Google found the clip shows a prop crocodile for an upcoming television series on Philippine broadcaster GMA Network titled "Lolong".

The prop is used to animate a crocodile character called "Dakila", according to a news report published on YouTube on June 25 by 24 Oras -- GMA Network's nightly newscast.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in one of the false posts (left) and a corresponding clip of the prop in the 24 Oras report (right) with similarities marked out by AFP:

Screenshot comparison of the video in the false posts (left) and the GMA report (right), with similarities marked out by AFP

Irene Fernando, a representative from GMA Network, told AFP the prop had been paraded to promote the television series.

It tells the story of Lolong, a man who is friends with the giant crocodile Dakila, and a powerful man in a small town who wants to kill all crocodiles, she said.

The prop was made of fibreglass and silicone and is operated using an air compressor, Fernando added.

The prop can be seen in the trailer for Lolong here.

GMA Network shared photos from the parade on its Facebook page here.

Local Philippines news outlet Philstar reported about the parade here.

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