When you say Palawan what are the things that comes to mind? Beach, Snorkeling and yes of course crocodiles. Puerto Princesa City is home to the Crocodile Farm and Nature Park, also known as the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center. This is why when asked by Kuya Bert, our tricycle driver/tour guide for the day, where we would like to go first we said Crocodile Farm, ok i am such a tourist aren’t I? I was hoping that the crocodile farm is just several minutes away from the main central business district of Puerto Princesa, but no, it is about forty-five minutes by tricycle. Ok the road going to the Crocodile farm is bumpy as compared to the road going to Honda Bay so you might want to take that into consideration when riding a tricycle, expect some bumps on the road and on your head, if you know what i mean.
Entry to the Crocodile Farm
Upon entering the Crocodile Farm we were greeted by a crocodile sculpture and the sign that says Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center. If you are going on a tour inside the crocodile farm (what else would you do?), you have to know the different time of the tour, I think its done every thirty minutes, I immediately bought the ticket to catch the 3PM tour, otherwise we would have to wait for the next one. Fortunately, I was able to get the tickets at forty pesos each, children below seven years old is free.
Entrance to the Crocodile Farm
You will have to surrender your ticket at the starting point of the tour and list down your name on their logbook. Upon entering the building you will be greeted by the bones of one of the largest crocodiles in the Philippines, of course Lolong is still the largest to date, but for a live crocodile i was told it was Mac-mac. On the wall you will see the crocodile’s leather skin, we were informed by the tour guide that it could not be used as raw material for bags or shoes anymore, since it is already hardened, the ideal crocodile skins to be used as raw materials are those that would come from young crocodiles.
On To The Crocodile Farm Hatchery
After a briefing on the history and trivia about the crocodile farm and the crocodiles we were led by the tour guide to the hatchery where the young crocodiles are housed. We were instructed not to tap the wooden boxes or large troughs that contained the baby crocodiles. They may be called baby crocodiles but i think with their sharp teeth they could really do some damage so i was very careful not to get their attention, especially so that the troughs top were open, so i asked the question can crocodiles jump?
Outside The Hatchery
It will take you about five to eight minutes to go around the hatchery, that is if you are not going to take photos, after that we were led outside to where the adult crocodiles are housed. You have to climb the metal stairs and view the crocodiles from above on the metal bridge. From there you can see Mac-mac the largest living crocodile, according to our guide, and yes he is huge just imagine how large Lolong is when it was still alive. Without taking photos its just a short two to three minutes walk before you reach the end of the bridge. Of course you could stay there longer if you are to take photos just be careful not to drop any of your gadgets below.
End of The Crocodile Farm Tour?
Once you get down the bridge the guided tour will end. You can have your photo taken holding a baby crocodile or have your photo taken with the Palawan Bear Cat. What people do not realize is that there are more to the Crocodile Farm than just crocodiles. After getting down from the bridge go to your right beyond the t-shirt souvenir shop and you will see other Palawan wildlife. You will see the Palawan Bear Cats, Sea Hawk or Eagle, Parrots, Mayna’s, there are some reptiles but we opted not to visit their cage. One thing you have to know though is that once you go to this area you are on your own, although the animals are in a cage I cannot say that is true to some other animals. You also have to be prepared with your anti-mosquito lotion as there are lots of mosquitoes flying around. The animals are worth visiting however it would have been better if authorities could maintain the place fit for the public to visit. It was either we came on a day where they were not scheduled to clean the area or it is just the way it is. Hope the local government would find time to make this part of the Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center tourism worthy.
Thoughts and Conclusions
For a forty pesos tour it is not bad, the Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center has more to offer than crocodiles and hopefully in the near future, the local government unit will be able to use Government funds to good use by improving and preserving the place. Since part of their revenue comes from tourists visiting the place. The souvenir shops and tours would be rendered useless if there is nothing to see in this place anymore. Overall our visit at the crocodile farm is still an experience for the books and i’d recommend visiting this place especially if you are into Wildlife conservation or at least if you want to see a live version of what you only see in T.V.
More Of The Things We Saw At The Crocodile Farm