The Crocodile Farm in Puerto Princessa
If you’re ever visiting Palawan, Philippines, most likely your tiny airplane will touch down in Puerto Princessa upon arrival from Manila. Never having been on a motorized tricycle before, my first few moments in Puerto Princessa were exciting and a little crazy. The tricycle driver took off from the airport parking lot like a madman on the shaky vehicle, weaving around and dodging random obstructions (chickens, roosters) in his path. Luckily I’d spent enough time in Asia that I’d grown accustomed to road rules that would seem insane to those back home. Make sure you’re not too jet-lagged upon arrival or you may feel like you’ve stepped into an alternate universe.
I loved the time I spent in Puerto Princessa. One of the more interesting tourist spots in the city is The Crocodile Farm—otherwise known as The Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center. Climbing onto a tricycle and taking in the sights and sounds of Puerto Princessa during the 40 minute jarring and wild drive to the farm was one of the highlights of the trip.
During my visit I participated in a guided tour. In the museum at the beginning of the tour, the group learned about the largest man-eating crocodile caught in the Philippines. A glass box displayed the 5 meter skeleton and the massive hide of the creature hung above the box on a wall. Our group listened as the guide told us the tale of the half-eaten unlucky soul found hidden in the crocodile’s stomach. Not exactly the kind of news you want to hear before walking above a pit of huge hungry crocodiles. Which we did moments later. As we stood on a rickety wooden bridge mounted precariously over the crocodile holes, I gazed down at the ancient-looking monstrous beasts and shuddered at the thought of what would happen if someone accidentally fell over the thin railing.
After a Q& A session on the crocodiles, our guide led us to the stinky crocodile hatchery. Hundreds of baby crocodiles small, medium, and large huddled together in giant holding containers. I will admit I felt a little sorry for the small beasts but apparently Palawan’s swamps and rivers are overflowing with crocs.
Another highlight of my visit—holding a squirmy young crocodile. I almost dropped it a few times but I enjoyed the experience.
If you’re ever in Puerto Princessa, it’s worth making the bumpy journey to The Crocodile Farm to learn more about the creatures that thrive in the rivers and swamps of beautiful Palawan.
Add a comment