Spots was found in a Louisiana swamp back in 1986.
Spots, a rare leucistic American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) that had been housed at Louisiana’s Audubon Nature Institute since 1990 has died. He was 28. No cause of death has yet been determined.
“We have been fortunate to be able to experience the wonder of such a rare and beautiful animal,” said Audubon Aquarium of the Americas Managing Director Rich Toth. “Because of Spots’ leucistic condition, his chances for survival in the wild were practically impossible. We’re proud to have cared for him for more than 28 years.”
Spots was part of a clutch of 17 baby alligators that were brought to the aquarium by workers with the Louisiana Land and Exploration Company back in 1986. They were found deep in a Louisiana swamp, the institute said on its Facebook page. Spots was leucistic and probably would have had a shorter life in the wild due to its bright white pigmented skin.
According to the institute, of the roughly 5 million American alligators in the wild and in captivity, there are roughly less than 15 alligators that are leucistic.
John B. Virata keeps a western hognose snake, a ball python, two corn snakes, a kingsnake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased for $5. His first pet reptile was a green anole that arrived in a small box via mail order. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata