White alligator born at ‘gator theme park in Orlando

A rare white alligator was born at the Gatorland Orlando theme park and wildlife preserve, the park announced Friday on Facebook.

The female baby alligator is not an albino, however, but a leucistic. Where albinos have a complete loss of pigment and red or pink eyes, leucistic alligators are white with some areas of normally colored skin and have blue eyes.

“We plan to have them on display early next year so guests can see them, learn about them, and fall in love with them like we have. For now, however, we continue to keep them safe where we can closely monitor their health and growth,” Mr. McHugh said in the announcement.

The baby female also has a brother with normal coloration.

The park is soliciting names for the two new alligators from the public on social media.

It has been 37 years since a nest of leucistic alligators was found in Louisiana. Three of the seven surviving white alligators from that nest live at the Orlando park. Officials said that the newborn was the first leucistic specimen to be born from that lineage.

“There has never been a white offspring from that group of 18 brothers that were born in 1987. This is the very first one. So it is incredibly rare,” Gatorland Orlando CEO Mark McHugh told the Orlando Sentinel.

A park employee who saw the alligator emerge was stunned by the rare coloration.

“I felt like I was dreaming. It was surreal,” Danielle Lucas told the newspaper.

Source: WT