A theme park in Florida announced the birth of a female white alligator with leucism syndrome, a rare disease of its kind that causes a large loss of pigmentation.
This is the first alligator with white leucism born under human care and probably one of the eight alligator specimens that exist in the world with this unique genetic peculiarity, the Gatorland park, located in Orlando, Florida, said in a statement on Thursday.
“Leucistic alligators are the rarest genetic variation of the American alligator. They differ from albino alligators because they have a complete absence of pigment,” according to the statement.
Mark McHug, executive director of Gatorland, explained that this is the first birth of a white alligator recorded since 36 years ago, when a nest of leucistic alligator was discovered in a swamp in the state of Louisiana.
The theme park explains that leucism in alligators causes a “white color,” but it often shows patches of normal color on their skin.
“Without the darker pigmentation of the skin, crocodiles cannot have direct sunlight for a long time because they burn easily,” the statement added.
The female specimen weighs 96 grams and measures 49 centimeters in length. Like a lizard and a crocodile.
The park hopes to display the alligator with leucism early next year. “Right now we’re continuing to closely monitor his growth and health,” which is good, McHugh said.
It is estimated that the alligator population in the United States is about 5 million, with the largest populations in Florida and Louisiana.