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A colossal crocodile suspected of being a man-eater has been caught in the Philippines – and the one-ton beast has quickly become an Internet sensation.

Remarkable photos taken of the giant saltwater crocodile after it was caught alive by villagers in the southern Philippines Saturday have gone viral online.

The images show a jubilant horde from Bunawan township in Agusan del Sur province huddled around the 21-foot, one-ton monster.

One photo shows a smiling man bear-hugging the captured croc in a mock attempt at measuring its enormous body – though the man’s outstretched arms don’t come close to encircling the animal’s gargantuan girth.

“We were nervous, but it’s our duty to deal with a threat to the villagers,” Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde told The Associated Press. “When I finally stood before it, I couldn’t believe my eyes.”

Local crocodile experts said it was the largest one caught alive in recent years, Elorde said.

Villagers began hunting the male croc after it devoured a water buffalo last month.

The crocodile was also suspected of attacking a local fisherman who went missing in July.

Villagers and croc experts began a three-week hunt that included an early setback: They tried hauling in the beast with four traps, but the croc simply destroyed them.

They next got more heavy-duty traps with steel cables – and that did the trick. But getting the croc – which weighs about 2,370 pounds – out of the water was a massive ordeal.

It took about 100 people to drag it out of the creek where it was caught. It was brought to a clearing, where a crane hoisted it onto a truck, The Associated Press reported.

The beast was then carefully placed inside a fenced-in area, where the town plans to create an ecotourism park.

The park is expected to showcase animals that are found naturally in the province’s vast marshland – an impoverished area that is about 515 miles southeast of Manila, the country’s capital, Elorde said.

“It will be the biggest star of the park,” Elorde said.

The monster may no longer be on the prowl, but those who live in the farming town of about 37,000 still must be cautious: Several large crocodiles still lurk on the outskirts of the area.

Elorde said locals have been told that venturing into the marshes at night is no-no.