Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Of alligators and crocodiles

When I saw a blog written by a friend from the US mainland about alligators not being trust worthy, I wondered if  alligators and their crocodile cousins have the same "reputation" world-wide.

In the Philippines where I come from, people would derisively refer to some politicians as crocodiles.

A common joke in Manila goes something like this:  If you've never seen a crocodile before, all you do is visit Congress when it is in session and you will see many crocodiles.

I do not understand how crocodiles and alligators have come to be associated with deplorable behavior. Maybe it is for  the same reason why snakes are sometimes associated with treachery and vindictiveness.

In our desire to make sense of our environment, we attribute our own behavior to plants, animals, reptiles -- nature.

We see our own aggressiveness in crocodiles like we see in snakes our own tendency to be treacherous.  

Over in Hawaii where I live many see the volcanoes here as deities. When a lava flow that recently threatened to overrun a town un-explicably stopped a short distance away, people attributed it to Madame Pele's compassion for the local population. Madame Pele is the Hawaiian goddess of fiery lava.

 But crocodiles and alligators are  not always regarded as bad mojo. In fact, they are revered in some cultures. Ancient Egyptians, for example, named an entire town after crocodiles, calling it Crocodilopolis.

Everything has an upside and I do not believe anything sentient  should  be decimated wantonly and without justifiable cause.

But then the issue of what are considered sentient and what are not is another matter.  And"justifiable cause" are loaded words. Butchering cows, pigs and  chickens for food may be justifiable to some but not to others.

Life can never be boring. There is so much to understand.

The photo shows an entire town in the Philippines mourning the death of "Lolong," a nearly 20-feet long crocodile considered the largest in the world.



Posted with Aloha



  1. Interesting blog. The crocodile in the photo is huge!

    1. Yes the crocodile is huge and it actually existed. Thank you for your encouragement and comment.

  2. Alligators and crocs will do whatever it takes to get their next meal. Completely ruthless. Ruthless people are sometimes equated with them. We see similar behavior here with geckos and chameleons. They will eat anything they can catch, even each other. BTW that's one big Croc, imagine how much it had to eat to survive.