Gustave: The Notorious Giant Crocodile Rumored to have ᴋɪʟʟᴇᴅ Over 300 People

Gustave is a large male Nile crocodile from Burundi. He is notorious for being a ᴍᴀɴ-ᴇᴀᴛᴇʀ, and is rumored to have ᴋɪʟʟᴇᴅ as many as 300 people from the banks of the Ruzizi River and the northern shores of Lake Tanganyika. Though the actual number is difficult to verify, he has obtained near-mythical status and was greatly ꜰᴇᴀʀᴇᴅ by people in the region.

Gustave was named by Patrice Faye, a herpetologist who has been studying and investigating him since the late 1990s. Much of what is known about Gustave stems from the film Capturing the Killer Croc, which aired in 2004 on PBS. The film documents a ᴄᴀᴘᴛᴜʀᴇ attempt and study on Gustave.

And now, a picture of a massive crocodile is circulating on social media with the claim that this is Gustave, which had made the banks of Lake Tanganyika its ʜᴜɴᴛɪɴɢ ground. The picture drew attention because of the seemingly gigantic size of the crocodile compared to the people sitting behind it.

India Today Anti Fake News Wᴀʀ Room (AFWA) has found that the picture is not of Gustave, but another crocodile ᴋɪʟʟᴇᴅ by a Zimbabwean ʜᴜɴᴛᴇʀ for feeding on cows. The crocodile looks bigger in the picture due to optical illusion. Gustave, on the other hand, has sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴇᴅ several attempts to ᴄᴀᴘᴛᴜʀᴇ it.

Several hunters, including Frenchman Patrice Faye who enlisted locals to aid him, have tried to ᴄᴀᴘᴛᴜʀᴇ Gustave, ᴅᴇᴀᴅ or ᴀʟɪᴠᴇ, over the years. All these attempts have failed.

Since Gustave was never captured or ᴋɪʟʟᴇᴅ, its length or weight could not be measured accurately. Some say he is 12 meters (40 feet) long, others claim that the crocodile is red or yellow, or protruding from the grass – there is more truth to the myths.

He was estimated to be around 100 years old in order to achieve such outstanding size; however, further more careful observation of Gustave revealed a complete set of teeth when he opened his mouth. Since a 100-year-old crocodile “should be nearly toothless” (according to the documentary), he was estimated to be “probably no older than 60, and likely still growing”.

Gustave is also known for the three bullet scars on his body. His right shoulder blade was also found to be deeply ᴡᴏᴜɴᴅᴇᴅ. Circumstances surrounding the four scars are unknown. Scientists and herpetologists who have studied Gustave claim that his uncommon size and weight impede his ability to ʜᴜɴᴛ the species’ usual, agile ᴘʀᴇʏ such as fish, antelope and zebra, forcing him to ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ larger animals such as hippopotamus, large wildebeest and, to some extent, humans.

In 2009 Gustave reappeared in Ruzizi River near Lake Tanganyika. Gustave is also said to have been spotted one more time in 2015, when it pulled an antelope into the water. However, in reality, no one knows if Gustave is one or more giant crocodiles. Gustave is the name that is passed on from one giant crocodile to another giant crocodile. Just know that, so far, all attempts to ᴄᴀᴘᴛᴜʀᴇ this monster have been unsuccessful.

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