Philippines: Wildlife conservation is a big thing in the Philippines with private and public entities entering into partnerships, according to sources.
Two of these are into crocodile breeding but have also gone into putting up sanctuaries for other animals.One is the Davao Crocodile Park located at the Riverfront Corporate City in Ma-a, Davao City, Southern Mindanao.
It was first opened to the public some time between 2002 and 2003 wherein guests were treated to go around and view large ponds used as breeding grounds for the reptiles, enjoy a few animals and with the option of having a huge snake around one’s neck for a souvenir photograph.
Today, aside from it having been expanded into a mini zoo where native and foreign, domesticated or wild animals either freely graze or are in well-maintained cages or glass houses, it is also equipped with laboratories for more extensive research and study of animal life.
Added attractions are the showcase of the various houses of the different indigenous tribes of Mindanao while nearby is a butterfly haven.
Over in Palawan province on the western coastline of the country near the Visayas or Central Philippines is the Palawan Crocodile Farm and Conservation Centre otherwise known as the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre.
Half-an-hour away from the provincial capital of Puerto Princesa City, it is also several kilometres away from the real estate property of Filipino-American actor-professional mixed martial artist and wrestler Dave Batista (David Michael Bautista Jr.).
First to greet visitors at the guided tour would be the skeleton of huge a saltwater crocodile trapped and killed by authorities in the Batarazza town south of Palawan because it gobbled up a child in the 1980s.
Its hide, which is so small compared to the skeleton, serves as a wall hanging at the reception area.
The guided tour proceeds to two other open buildings where crocodiles, depending on their age group are in several “swimming pools.”
Larger and older crocodiles are in another building.
These crocodiles are for breeding and after some time are returned to their natural habitat.
Just like the Davao Crocodile Farm, the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre has its own open-air zoo for other animals like the Palawan bearcat, hornbills, myna and eagles.
Visitors have the opportunity to have their photographs with the young crocodiles around their neck.
Sources said there is collaboration between the management of the Davao Crocodile Farm and the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre not only through research and studies because the former also provides the crocodile meat for the delicacy “Crocodile Sisig” which tastes like chicken and is a sell-out among the tourists.