Saturday, February 13, 2010

Davao Crocodile Park

While Davao City is known as the fruit basket of the Philippines as well as the home of the Philippine Eagle Center, it also boasts of its own crocodile park like Palawan.

Davao Crocodile Park is around 15 minutes from the NCCC Mall via private transportation. It's quite hard getting there commuting, so I suggest taking the taxi which is not that expensive. However, the hard part would be going home because it's quite a long walk from the entrance. Most tourists choose to hire a taxi for the day when visiting the Crocodile Park.

One expects to see crocodiles in a croc park of course.

The picture does not do justice to the number of crocodiles the park has. There are A LOT! In all sizes and shapes. They all look nasty with their sharp teeth sticking out making sure you realize they are not to be messed with.

Crocodiles are not the only creatures you can see in the park though. There are a lot of bird varieties like colorful parrots and white cockatoos as well as that majetic sea eagle below.

I did get to a chance to hold a crocodile. A baby one. Which is a bit of cheating especially with the taped mouth. I felt bad for the little croc being passed around from one person to the other and not being able to snap at anyone it dislikes. I still wanted my photo taken with it despite the ill feeling.

Below is a bayawak or monitor lizard, which as far as I know, is an endangered species. This may be due to many poachers who hunt for its meat. I have not tasted it but I heard it tastes like... chicken. It's allegedly good. But it's illegal now thankfully.

The highlight of that particular trip was having the chance to actually hold a real, live tiger.
The Davao Crocodile Park has a pair of tigers. I'm holding the male. His caretaker came with me to make sure that I make it out of my photo-op alive. The female tiger seemed to be in a bad mood as she was prowling as large cats usually do when agitated. It does not seem to like company. If I were a tiger, I wouldn't be happy either, with people ooooh-ing at me as I'm stuck in a cage.

When in Davao, the Crocodile Park is a must-visit. Depending on the day of the week and times of the day, there are crocodile feedings. In the same compound, you can also visit the Butterfly Park and the River Walk Grill. For those who are into extreme sports, it is where the Davao White Water Rafting office is.