As humans we have claimed the world as our own. In our quest to populate and become the dominant species on the planet we have overcome natural obstacles, destroyed eco-systems and wiped out entire species. But despite this there are still wonders and horrors that are discovered every day. Who knows what lurks at the bottom of the vast oceans or in the darkest fathoms of the rain forests. One thing is for sure, where there is uncertainty there is myth and sometimes what goes bump in the night or deters travellers from walking through the forest isn’t just a fantasy.
Burundi is a small republic and neighbour to Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania and Rwanda. Within its rivers is the famed and violent killer croc, Gustave. What is fascinating about this crocodile is firstly its age, estimated to be 60 years old, and its length at 20 feet!
… the signature of this serial killer is to leave his victims corpses on the bank side …
Several attempts have been made to catch this beast. Traps, aerial photography and hunting teams have searched the river he inhabits for years and yet nothing has been found. However talk to the locals and Gustave is the thing that stalks their nightmares. Over 300 people have been killed by this predator and his signature is to leave his victims’ corpses on the bank side.
Scientists have speculated that a crocodile of his size would need more than fish and small animals to survive, hence his attacks on larger prey. His size also makes him a fantastic host for reproduction. The Nile is full of crocodiles and with a progenitor of Gustave’s stature the repercussions are wonderful for the survival of crocodiles. However, this aside, the most frightening aspect of Gustave is that he has never been photographed or seen by anyone who has lived to tell the tale.
… a creature that large and ferocious exists in the world today …
Local stories escalate Gustave’s vicious ways and in a country that is laden with corruption and murder is it really a big old crocodile that is killing people by the waterside? Whatever or whoever has committed these crimes is still at large. Whether it’s a killer crocodile that has evaded hunters for years or a normal person, it’s frightening to think that a creature that large and ferocious exists in the world today and we, the powerful and dominant species, can’t find him or outwit him. I mean he’s just a crocodile… right?
Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox