Of the roughly 5 million American alligators in the wild and in captivity, there are about 15 American alligators that are leucistic
Gatorland Orlando in Orlando, FL announced that a leucistic American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) hatched at the reptile park, and the park is enlisting the public in helping to name it. The baby alligator and her normal brother weigh 96 grams and are 49cm in length.
“For the first time since a nest of leucistic alligators was discovered in the swamps of Louisiana 36 years ago, we have the first birth of a solid white alligator ever recorded from those original alligators. This is beyond “rare, it is absolutely extraordinary and the first one in the world,” the park said in a statement posted on its Youtube channel.
“These are incredibly special animals in the reptile world, and we are being very careful with their safety and security,” Mark McHugh, president and CEO of Gatorland said in the statement. “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.”
Leucistic alligators are extremely rare. Of the roughly 5 million American alligators in the wild and in captivity, there are about 15 American alligators that are leucistic, according to a 2015 statement from Louisiana’s Audubon Nature Institute.
American Alligator Information
American alligators were placed on the Endangered Species List in 1967 and then removed from the list in 1987. By the 1970s, the reptile was close to extinction due to a combination of factors, including illegal hunting, the black market trade and habitat loss. The comeback of this species, which is still federally protected, was due to private farms that were regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, along with state game agencies, captive conservation breeding programs. Males of the species average around 11 to 15 feet in length, while females are smaller, at about 8.5 to 10 feet in length. They frequent subtropical and tropical freshwater bodies of water from Southern Texas to Florida to North Carolina.