A visit to Davao Crocodile Park

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All the while, I thought Davao Crocodile Park was a government property, until I came across it's history and was enlightened that it is a privately owned institution operated by a group of businessmen from Davao City. I was even surprised that it all started from the fascination of the owner to Saltwater and Freshwater Crocodiles and not as a lucrative business right away. Not until he learned that crocodiles raised in other countries are not just for public viewing but for leather production purposes too.



Davao Crocodile Park is an establishment that boast the latest crocodile farming system in the Philippines. There are other exotic animal species like raptors, monkeys, bearcats, snakes, birds, and other reptiles in the park for viewing which makes it one of the most desired tourist destinations in Davao.




As promised to my kids, especially to my son Angelo, we will visit the park during our short stay in Davao and they will have a close encounter with lots of crocodiles!




There are a lot of fun activities and programs offered by the park which made it one of the must-see places and unique destination that you shouldn't miss when in Davao. They have the Crocodile Dancing Show which features the leaping ability of the crocodiles. A caretaker was handling them down a piece of meat tied in a rope and I was amazed how the hungry crocs leaps itself up to get that piece of meat in a dancing-like manner. They can actually leap up to 6 feet high!



Crocodile Dancing Photo Courtesy of Davao Crocodile Park 



We also witnessed the Crocodile Frenzy show which is basically the feeding of the juvenile crocodiles. It was a nerve-wracking experience witnessing a caretaker goes inside the pen to feed the baby crocs with a bucket of meat. I was holding myself back that minute because the feeder might be bitten anytime! Initially, the baby crocodiles run after the caretaker chasing their food handed down one at a time. It looked scary, but it was a show and I am confident that caretakers are very well-trained. 



Crocodile Frenzy Photo Courtesy of Google 



Another show which hold me a second was the threatening Tightrope Walking where a stunt man is walking along a thin rope at a remarkable height while doing some tricks and stunts. He's like crossing from one pole to another side, carefully balancing every step on the rope. Under him are the swarming hungry crocodiles waiting for him to fall. One single mistake and he might be swimming on the water being bitten by the crocs. Such a hysterical show! 



The Tightrope Walking 



Then my son enjoyed the show with Pangil, the biggest crocodile in the house and was recognized as the second biggest crocodile in the Philippines to date. Pangil Encounter or the Giant Crocodile encounter is one of the most awaited show every weekend at the park. A caretaker again intrudes the territory of this giant and the reaction of the latter was to go wild and aggressive, sweeping it's body and wagging it's huge tail causing the audience to get wet due to the water splash made by Pangil. So if you don't like to get soaked, stay far away!



My son posing with Pangil! 



There was another educational animal show at their small arena featuring Kuya Carlo! The friendly and good-looking monkey in the house. He was trained to entertain guests plus some other animals from the park. 







As we move around the park after the scheduled animal shows, we stumbled across some other exotic animals and comical statues that entertained my son.




An Ostrich behind us 







There are also photobooths and an scheduled time for photo ops with other wild animals. We got the chance to hold a live baby crocodile for picture taking.



Me & my son holding a live baby crocodile 



In a nearby was a Butterfly Park within the vicinity. We took the tricycle to visit the Butterfly garden just about 200 meters away from crocodile park. You can actually walk to reach the place but we wanted to ride anyway!




I love our tricycle ride! Tricycles in Davao has bigger sidecars and there was another type of tricycle in Davao (photo on another blog), the one with the umbrella-like roof. I find it so cute!




Davao Butterfly House and Learning Garden is just a small place with different species of butterflies, flying around. They also showcase educational talks about the stages of a butterfly and other insects, but it was not available during our visit. 




Then we staggered upon a small native village, The Tribu K'Mindanawan. A cultural village that showcases the richness of the indigenous people in Mindanao. It has a cultural presentation and spectacular fireshow. Sad, because by the time the fireshow was about to start, it rained very hard. We were not able to watch it because it is an outdoor show. I was also advised that there was a river raft, but we didn't bother to try because of the rain. 







Still, the highlight of our trip was the heart pounding crocodile shows, it was really a blast! 



Apart from tourism and entertainment, Crocodile Park exists as a venue for educational tours, promoting public awareness through regular in-house lectures, conservation of crocodiles and other wildlife animals and it also acts as a field laboratory for Biology, Zoology, Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine students and other wildlife animal enthusiasts.



Davao Crocodile Park, Davao Butterfly House and Tribu K’Mindanawan is situated in one complex inside Davao Riverfront Corporate City, a newly developed commercial area along Ma-a Diversion Highway, Davao City, only 15 minutes away from the city proper.



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