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Number 8 Gargantua
Gargantua was a massive lowland gorilla, exhibited by the Ringling Brothers Circus. Its inclusion in the shows that the circus put on was credited with saving it from bankruptcy. He was brought from the Congo aboard a cargo ship and became popular with the captain and most of the crew. Before his circus life began, the gorilla was known as Buddy. Buddy was eventually sold to John Ringling’s circus, rebranded as Gargantua and marketed as ‘The Largest Gorilla Ever Exhibited’. Even though these claims were widely regarded as sensationalistic, Gargantua was much larger than the typical lowland gorilla. His face gave him a menacing look which, coupled with his behavior, increased his reputation. During his time with the circus in the late 1930s and 1940s, Gargantua attracted millions and single-handedly saved the circus.
Number 7 Zulu
Zulu was an exceptionally tall giraffe bull that lived at Folly Farm Zoo, in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Zulu was roughly four feet taller than the average giraffe and his horns almost grazed the roof of the 20-foot enclosure where he was kept. He would reportedly eat about 50 pounds of alfalfa hay per day. One of his handlers stated, at one point that ‘In the wild, Zulu would be competing with other males for attention from the females and, because of his size, would be very impressive.’ Because of his enormous frame and weight of over 1.3 tons, it was difficult for his handlers to get accurate measurements. It’s why they had to estimate his height which was estimated to have been around 19 feet. Zulu was described as a gentle giant and was renowned for his friendliness. Even though he was a giant, Zulu was never recorded as the tallest giraffe in the world. That honor belongs to a Masai bull named George, who stood 19.3 feet tall and was housed at the London Zoo, between 1959 to 1969.
Number 6 Satao
Satao was one of Kenya’s most iconic elephants. He was a tusker, meaning that his tusks, which measured over 6.5 feet, were so long that they touched the ground when he walked. Each of them weighed well-over 100 pounds. An imposing animal, Satao became emblematic of Kenya’s wildlife, and was considered the largest of its remaining tuskers. He was last seen on May 19, 2014.
Number 5 Medusa
Although it won’t turn you to stone like the legendary gorgon, this creature is guaranteed to make you stop and stare. Medusa is the longest snake to have ever been kept in captivity. A female reticulated python, it measures a staggering 25.2 feet. To take her record-breaking measurement, Medusa reportedly had to be held by 15 men. She weighs about 350 pounds and her diet consists of rabbits, deer and hogs.
Number 4 Kesagake
It took place in 1915, in the village of Sankebetsu, Hokkaido. Yamamoto was familiar with it’s behavior. On December 14, he tracked it down and found it resting near a Japanese oak. The bear was subsequently measured at 750 pounds, standing almost 9ft tall.
Number 3 Hercules
With a weight of over 900 pounds, a length of 11 feet and a height of 6 feet, while standing on all fours, Hercules the liger is the largest living cat on Earth. This was confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records three times over. He’s about the size of the now extinct saber-toothed tiger. Hercules is a liger, which is a hybrid animal born out of two different big cat species. His father was an African lion and his mother a tigress. Hercules is very strong and athletic, capable of running 50 miles per hour and leaping close to 40 feet in length. He currently lives at the Myrtle Beach wildlife preserve in South Carolina, where tourists can visit him.
Number 2 Champawat Tigress
While Hercules is described as friendly and playful, this massive feline was a living nightmare for the people of Nepal and Kumaon area of India. During the course of several years, between the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, the Champawat Tigress became one of the most prolific man-eaters in history. She hunted during the day and people were so afraid that they refused to leave their huts and go to work.
Number 1 Gustave
In Burundi, Gustave has gained almost mythological status for wreaking havoc on the local human population. Some estimates put the giant crocodile at 25 feet and a weight in excess of 2,000 pounds. It’s believed that he’s about 64 years old and most likely still growing. There’s a picture of him taken by a National Geographic photographer, which shows his impressive size. He was last spotted in 2015, when a local saw him dragging an adult buffalo on the riverbank.