Rare albino alligator goes on show in US

October 7, 2011
An albino alligator from Louisiana is pictured in France in 2010. An extremely rare albino alligator from the swamps of Louisiana is taking up residence in Washington, dazzling visitors with her brilliant white skin.

An extremely rare albino alligator from the swamps of Louisiana is taking up residence in Washington, dazzling visitors with her brilliant white skin.

The three-year-old is the first of its kind ever to go on exhibition at the National Aquarium, home to more than 200 from goldfish and frogs to pirahnas and sharks.

"There are less than 100 albino alligators in the world," Ryan Dumas, a herpetologist ( and reptile expert) at the tourist attraction, told AFP on Thursday. "They are very rare."

Hatched in captivity in Cut Off, Louisiana after its egg was found in the wild, the ghost-like with pink eyes came to Washington via the privately-owned Saint Augustine Alligator Farm in Florida.

"Local lore (in parts of Louisiana) is that it's incredible good luck to see an albino alligator," Dumas said, adding however that because of their color, few if any survive in the wild.

"A white alligator is going to have a very hard time keeping itself hidden in a dark swamp," said Dumas, because the lack of camouflage exposes hatchlings to predators or gives them away to prey.

The alligator, which dines on fish and rodents, will be on show from Friday until February next year, by which time -- through a Facebook campaign to be launched by the aquarium shortly -- it should have a name.

Explore further: Alabama alligators may become hunted

Related Stories

Alabama alligators may become hunted

May 3, 2006

Alabama officials are reportedly considering establishing an alligator hunting season to combat a dramatically rising gator population.

More gator complaints may mean rule change

November 10, 2006

Increased complaints about alligators encroaching on human activities prompted Florida officials to consider easing rules for trapping and killing the animals.

Loyal alligators display the mating habits of birds

October 7, 2009

Alligators display the same loyalty to their mating partners as birds reveals a study published today in Molecular Ecology. The ten-year-study by scientists from the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory reveals that up to 70% ...

Albino kookaburras found in northern Australia

December 6, 2010

Australian wildlife workers on Monday said they had discovered a never-before-seen pair of blue-winged albino kookaburras, believed to have been swept from their nests in a wild storm.

Alligator fat could be used to make biodiesel

August 18, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- In addition to being a novelty food, alligators could also provide a feedstock for biodiesel. Every year, the alligator meat industry disposes of about 15 million pounds of alligator fat in landfills. Now ...

Recommended for you

Study suggests fish can experience 'emotional fever'

November 25, 2015

(Phys.org)—A small team of researchers from the U.K. and Spain has found via lab study that at least one type of fish is capable of experiencing 'emotional fever,' which suggests it may qualify as a sentient being. In their ...

A huge chunk of a tardigrade's genome comes from foreign DNA

November 23, 2015

Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have sequenced the genome of the nearly indestructible tardigrade, the only animal known to survive the extreme environment of outer space, and found something ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.