Filipino tycoon turns crocodiles into sisig, Louis Vuitton

Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2017 02:32 PM | Updated as of Aug 03 2017 06:11 PM

MANILA - What started out as a solution to dispose of egg-laying chickens has turned into a foray to luxury for a Filipino construction supplies tycoon.

Wilcon Depot founder and chairman emeritus William Belo, who has 20,000 crocodiles in his Rizal province farm, said he has provided the reptiles' skin to suppliers of Hermes and Louis Vuitton.

Processed crocodile meat and eggs are on display at Dundee, a side business of Wilcon Depot founder and chairman emeritus William Belo. Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Processed crocodile meat and eggs are on display at Dundee, a side business of Wilcon Depot founder and chairman emeritus William Belo. Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Processed crocodile meat and eggs are on display at Dundee, a side business of Wilcon Depot founder and chairman emeritus William Belo. Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Processed crocodile meat and eggs are on display at Dundee, a side business of Wilcon Depot founder and chairman emeritus William Belo. Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Processed crocodile meat and eggs are on display at Dundee, a side business of Wilcon Depot founder and chairman emeritus William Belo. Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Processed crocodile meat and eggs are on display at Dundee, a side business of Wilcon Depot founder and chairman emeritus William Belo. Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Belo said he acquired an initial 1,000 crocodiles who would feed on chickens from his farm. He said he needed to dispose of as many as 200 chickens at a time.

A Japanese business associate linked him up with suppliers to the two luxury brands, Belo said.

"This Japanese buyer was selling to Hermes. When Hermes saw our skin, they got interested," Belo said, adding the buyer described his crocodiles' skin as "one of the best."

"We are dealing with another group, the Louis Vuitton group," he said.

The skinned crocodiles find their way to dining tables. Belo has them chopped up and ground into "sisig," burger patties and steak.

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