Fear and anxiety are what I experience whenever I see a reptile but one of the lists of spots to visit in the itinerary is Crocodile Farm. I have heard a couple of stories about crocodile eating a man, so I am not really fond of seeing reptiles. Ironically, this time, I just have to visit its haven to appreciate it.
Formerly named as Crocodile Farming Institute, yet popularly known as Crocodile Farm, it was initially set up for the conservation of crocodiles. Upon entering the crocodile farm, we were instructed to go inside the main building where a museum dedicated to crocodiles is located. The moment I get into the main lobby I was surprised to see a skeleton of a crocodile placed inside a glass engagement while hanging on the wall is its dried crocodile skin. I was dumbfounded to see that crocodile could grow as big as that hence, I identify it with the resemblance of dinosaur portrayals in films. A tour guide has then shared a little background about crocodiles and the museum and in a few minutes, we were ushered on the hallway where there are framed narratives and information about crocodiles hanging on the wall. Eventually, we were guided towards the crocodile nursery area and finally to the adult crocodile pits.
Crocodile skeleton and skin
Hand’s off signage
While looking at the crocodiles one of my colleagues told us that the reptiles look unhappy with their cages. We were briefed that crocodiles die when they get stressed, hence, some crocodiles, and even the Philippine crocodile that was once famous due to its size died because of it. Our tour driver has mentioned on our way here that crocodiles don’t really eat humans, they only do so because their habitat is being occupied by humans. Their food which is also animals has migrated elsewhere since human occupied their space hence there is no food available when the crocodiles get hungry. Therefore, they do things they don’t normally do when they get hungry and end up eating humans. Change in the environment or being in a place where they don’t really belong causes stress that eventually leads them to do unnormal things for them which may cause harm to others. Also, due to so much stress by being unfit with the environment they die eventually.
Crocodile Viewing bridge
Aklan Crocodile soaked in the water
Currently, it is called Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center because it is a research center for conservation and further studies of Palawan’s endangered species including crocodiles. Ergo, it also houses several species of mammals, reptiles, and birds not normally seen in the zoo. At the back of the conservation center is where the mini zoo is located. They also have a nature trail and park which everyone is free to roam after the tour. However, we decided not to go further anymore since we were warned that we may get lost and we don’t have enough time for detours. On our way to exit, we’re directed to a souvenir shop where cuddly crocodile stuff toys and other items are available for purchase. Others also opt to have their picture taken holding a small crocodile and buy their photo while some just ask a buddy to snap a photo of them using their own camera.
Entrance to the nature park
This place has made the effect of stress sink on me clearly. It has made me understood that no matter how you rescue wildlife animals, they won’t find refuge in cages because they have to be in their natural habitat. You can help them for a while for their physical wounds and recuperation but you can’t make them happy. You must let go of them once they are healed so they’ll be more healthy and productive. Putting them in a cage will stress them out which and may lead to their loss. The same goes to human as well, wherein we have to be in our natural habitat, by means of being ‘at home’ to be truly happy.
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. All expenses were shouldered by the author. All photos are from Kaycie Gayle