An incredibly rare form of white alligator has been born at a Florida alligator-themed park, which is now consulting the public for a name.
“Oh boy, we have some exciting news here at Gatorland,” said Mark McHugh, president and chief executive of Gatorland in a statement on Instagram that showed a video of the pale leucistic gator freshly emerged from its shell.
“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,” McHugh added.
Leucistic alligators are the rarest genetic variation in the American alligator species. They differ from albino gators, which have pink eyes and a complete loss of pigment, by having bright blue eyes and patches of normal coloration on their skin.
However, like albinos, leucistic gators are very sensitive to sunlight.
The new female gator and her normal-colored brother were born to parents Jeyan and Ashley, the Orlando-based park said, urging fans to comment on Gatorland’s social media account with suggestions for a name. The pair are in good health, according to vets, and currently weigh 96g and are 49cm 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,” McHugh said.