Sweetheart was the name given to a 5.1 metre crocodile responsible for a series of attacks on boats in Australia between 1974 and 1979. Sweetheart attacked outboard motors, dinghies, and fishing boats. In July 1979, Sweetheart was finally caught alive by a team from the Territory Parks and Wildlife Commission, but drowned while being transported when it became tangled with a log. The crocodile’s mounted body is now on permanent display at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.
The Guinness Book of World Records have recorded the biggest crocodile in world to be held in captivity, named ‘Yai’. He had a gigantic size of 19 feet and 8 inches from nose to tail in 2000. Today, he has crossed the mark of 20 feet. The largest saltwater crocodile in captivity was ‘Oscar’ who had reached a size of more than 18 feet in Queensland, Australia.
The largest crocodile in the wild ever to be recorded was found in the Bay of Bengal. It was over 10.1 meters or 33.1 feet in length. He was already dead when found and only his head recovered. Another skull of saltwater crocodiles found in Orissa, India is said to have been of a crocodile that may have been about 23 feet in length. But, you cannot say for sure that they were the biggest crocodiles in the world, as one can only estimate the total length from skull size.
There are only two records found that are complete and reliable, which claim to have found the biggest crocodile ever. A crocodile that was entangled in a fishing net in the Mary River in Northern Australia in 1974 was recorded to be about 6.2 meters or 20 feet in length. The fishermen killed it with an axe and brought back just the head. The wild rangers soon spotted the body and recorded the total length. You can still have a look at the skull, that is displayed at the Darwin Crocodile Farm.
The second record comes from Papua New Guniea in 1983. The villages killed a crocodile that too was 6.2 meters or 20.3 feet in length. Zoologists Jerome Montague and Rom Whitaker measured the skin of the crocodile and concluded that it was the biggest crocodile in the world. They said the crocodile may be another 3.9 inches or 10 centimeters longer, as the skin gives an underestimate of the original size.