Valdosta Daily Times

May 21, 2013

Albino gators visit Wild Adventures

Dean Poling
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Two rare albino American alligators have joined the other gators at Wild Adventures for the summer.

Arriving last week, these two “swamp ghosts” are on loan to the park for the next few months.

“After this summer, the alligators will travel on to the aquariums in the Herschend Family Entertainment family for others to see because they are so rare,” says Micha Hogan, Wild Adventures public relations manager. The albino gators arrived from Silver Springs.

These gators are approximately two of an estimated 100 known albinos in the world. The ones at Wild Adventures are each about six-feet long and are named Casper and Ivory.

“The white coloring of these ghost-like alligators is due to a rare genetic mutation that affects the alligator’s production of melanin, a skin pigment,” according to the park. “According to Cajun lore, staring into the eyes of a white alligator brings good luck and fortune.”

However, the alligators’ coloration does not necessarily bring them good luck in the wild, where they would co-exist with regular American alligators. “Their coloring makes their survival in the wild very difficult,” Hogan says.

At Wild Adventures, the albino alligators’ habitat is next door to the recent addition of five regular American alligators along the park’s Alapaha Trail. Long-time park resident Twister, a 13-and-a-half-foot, 1,000-pound gator, has a nearby habitat.

All of the alligators may be viewed along the park’s Alapaha Trail.

More information: Visit wildadventures.com