Love The Philippine Crocodile
This 7-year-old crocodile is on a mission. She’s on a mission to show the world that not all crocodiles are interested in eating people, she much prefers the taste of fish! She is very thoughtful over her food, eating what is good for her river ecosystem as a whole and helping to give back as many nutrients as she can. She wishes that people could see this and stop killing her friends in fear. She hopes her message gets through soon, there’s only 100 left of them…
The most endangered species of crocodile, the Philippine croc was once found all over the Philippines. Now it can only be found on a few islands and is in need of immediate conservation. They are freshwater and live on estuarine and coastal shores and swim in ponds, marshes, and small rivers. Being cold-blooded, these crocodiles spend their days resting in the sun to warm themselves up. When they get too hot, they just open their mouths to release the heat. Loving the relaxing life, they also eat stones which help with buoyancy, allowing them to float across the surface of the water.
Philippine crocodiles are very important for the health of their ecosystem. They mostly prey on sick fish as well as common fish, therefor removing unhealthy fish and keeping populations in check. Their stool is also very nutritious for the fish, containing important chemicals. Their teeth are very special. They have between 66-68 which regularly fall out. But with each lost tooth there is a brand new one to take its place.
Crocodiles lay eggs. The Philippine crocodile will lay up to 3 clutches of eggs each year with as many as 7-33 eggs in each clutch. The females will build a mounded nest made up of leaves, twigs, and soil or a hole nest to hide their eggs. When the eggs hatch, both parents take turns watching the nest, a trait not seen in other crocodile species. There is evidence that the eggs may be affected by temperature which could determine the sex of the baby.
With an estimated population of just 100 individuals, the Philippine crocodile is considered to be the most threatened species of crocodile in the world. Despite its critically endangered status, not much is known about its ecology and its interaction with the other Philippine crocodile species, the saltwater crocodile, whose range it overlaps with. Initially, the largest threat was commercial exploitation for meat, leather and hunting. However, today it is habitat destruction that is posing the largest threat to these animals. As humans expand and clear areas for their own purposes, the already small range of the crocodile is becoming smaller. They are also killed by local people who may feel threatened, particularly if they are near the territory of a saltwater crocodile that has been known to eat people.
HOW TO HELP
Based off real animals that Gillie and Marc met while travelling, the public will be able to meet individual animals.
With public art, more people will come into contact with these sculptures, will stop and consider them, will take a photograph, and will discuss this with their friends and family. Through this increased exposure, the message of love, family, and conservation will be spread much further than any piece of art in a gallery ever could. It will bring people into close contact and will help them to fall in love. With love comes a greater urge to want to create a change and save all endangered animals.
The sculpture will be aligned with the hashtags #LoveTheLast to raise unparalleled awareness about the sculpture’s cause across the globe.
To help protect these animals, please donate to the WWF: https://www.wwf.sg/SOURCES