© 2024 WLRN
MIAMI | SOUTH FLORIDA
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

An extremely rare white alligator is born at a Florida reptile park

A photo of an extremely white, 19.2-inch leucistic alligator
Gatorland Orlando
An extremely rare alligator has been born at Gatorland Orlando. The 19.2-inch newborn makes history as as one of a few known leucistic alligators.

An extremely rare white leucistic alligator has been born at a Florida reptile park.

The 19.2-inch (49 cm) female slithered out of its shell and into the history books as one of a few known leucistic alligators, Gatorland Orlando said.

READ MORE: Hurricane Idalia washed away sea turtle nests on Gulf Coast, but the season was a success

“This is beyond rare. It is absolutely extraordinary,” Mark McHugh, president and CEO of Gatorland, said in a statement.

The park is asking for the public's help in the naming the alligator, which is descended from a nest of leucistic alligators discovered in the swamps of Louisiana in 1987. The blue-eyed newborn is the first solid white alligator ever recorded to have descended from those original alligators. Of the seven remaining alligators from the nest, three are at Gatorland, McHugh said.

Leucistic alligators are the rarest genetic variation in the American alligator. They differ from albino alligators, which have pink eyes and a complete loss of pigment, according to Gatorland.

Park visitors will be able to see the leucistic alligator and her normal-colored brother early next year.

“For now, however, we continue to keep them safe where we can closely monitor their health and growth,” McHugh said.

Copyright 2023 WUSF 89.7

Sign up for WLRN’s environment newsletter Field Notes to receive our insider’s guide for living in South Florida’s changing landscape. Get original reporting and recaps, with context, delivered to your inbox every Friday. Subscribe here.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.
More On This Topic