For the first time since a nest of leucistic alligators was discovered in the swamps of Louisiana 36 years ago, the birth of a blue-eyed, solid-white alligator was recorded from those original alligators, says Florida's Gatorland.
"This is beyond rare, it is absolutely extraordinary and the first one in the world." Gatorland writes in their Instagram post announcing the rare gator's birth.
According to Gatorland, leucistic alligators are the rarest genetic variation in the American alligator. They differ from albino alligators, which have pink eyes and a complete loss of pigment.
Leucism in alligators causes white coloration, but they often have patches or splotches of normal coloration on their skin. Without the darker skin pigmentation, they can’t have direct sunlight for long periods of time because they sunburn easily. Leucistic alligators also have brilliant blue eyes compared to the pink eyes of an albino alligator.
According to McHugh with Gatorland, the new baby female leucistic alligator and her normal colored brother were born to parents Jeyan and Ashley, weigh 96 grams, and are currently 49 cm long.
"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," McHugh added.
Gatorland is also asking the public to be a part of history by helping name the beautiful white female and her normal-colored brother by posting suggestions in the comments on their Instagram post here.
Article by Rachael Volpe