Photo of the Day: Philippine Crocodiles Rock

Freshwater hatchlings pop out into a world of endangerment.

'I will be very disappointed if I grow up to become a belt or piece of trim on a flashy and costly pair of loafers.' (Photo: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters)
Allan MacDonell is TakePart’s News + Opinion editor, with a focus on social justice.

Reptile farmers in the Philippines are addressing impending extinction head on. The Philippine crocodile, also known as the Mindoro crocodile, is among the globe's most endangered species, but here is photographic evidence that the freshwater croc is half a dozen hatchlings away from disappearing.

If you're ever near Manila and in the mood for something slithery, drop in at Kitsie's Crocodile Park, a reptilian themed attraction that advertises conservation as part of its bottom line. Or you can visit the campus of a Kitsie's competitor, the Davao Crocodile Park.

Davao's motto, "Working with nature for a better future," can be taken more than one way. According to the park's web site, owner Philip Dizon only realized that raising reptiles could be a money-making operation when he learned that crocodiles were raised not only for viewing in the United States, but for leather production as well.

Leather production is not on the agenda at The CROC Project, a local coalition of researchers and activists determined to keep the Mindoro heartbeat going. Take a look. Not a strip of exotic leather to be seen.

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