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S.C. zoo shows off rare white alligator


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#1    MoorWalks

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 09:46 AM


While it awaiting its day in court, a rare white alligator is spending its days basking in Riverbanks Zoo's aquarium and reptile complex.

Only 10 other white alligators are known in captivity, all owned by the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans.

White alligators are even more unusual in the wild because of their coloring. Most alligators are dark to hide the young from predators in their naturally dark habitat.

The white alligators, also known as leucistic gators, aren't albino. Instead, they are simply born with white skin.

That rare trait is part of the reason Riverbanks Zoo has a white alligator.

The gator on display was one of three seized by the Department of Natural Resources after three men were arrested in September 2003 for taking the endangered species from the banks of a pond at Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island.

The men said they captured the gators to keep them from being killed. They are awaiting trial.

Two of the alligators died of a serious infection obtained before they were taken to the zoo. The third gator has lived away from public view at the zoo until this month.

When the zoo's anaconda died recently, Riverbanks officials decided to use the exhibit to put the rare gator on display.

After a week by itself, the gator got some company a regularly colored gator of about the same size. They seemed to hit it off, so another regular gator was added.

"They've gotten along fine," said Holly Jones,the keeper working with the gators. "They're basking together."

The young gators will outgrow the small exhibit in a couple of years.

But zoo officials say it's difficult to make long-range plans for the white alligator because it still belongs to the state as evidence.

On Monday, the leucistic gator's white skin shined in stark contrast to the brown tree bark and green algae in its exhibit.

"It's soooo beautiful," said 8-year-old Kayla Anstey of Columbia.

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#2    frogfish

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 12:46 PM

The Australia Zoo also has a leustic croc...Casper.

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#3    Raptor

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 05:03 PM

Never heard of this before, so is it something hereditary?


#4    zandore

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 06:15 PM

Google image results for "white alligators" HERE

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#5    Dakotabre

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 11:08 PM

Quote


Google image results for "white alligators" HERE


Thanks for the pics.... It must be hard for the White Alligators to hunt considering that they wouldn't blend into their environment very well....


#6    frogfish

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 12:06 AM

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It must be hard for the White Alligators to hunt considering that they wouldn't blend into their environment very well....

They could still hide underwater thumbsup.gif

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#7    __Kratos__

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 12:15 AM

Truely amazing creatures. Glad some poacher didn't get to it and it's being taken care of. original.gif

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They could still hide underwater thumbsup.gif


And what color is a lot of water?  rolleyes.gif It would still prove to be easier to find them in water then a normal alligator.

Edited by __Kratos__, 14 July 2006 - 12:16 AM.

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#8    frogfish

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 12:18 AM

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And what color is a lot of water?  It would still prove to be easier to find them in water then a normal alligator.

In India, Australia, and the Glades where most leustic crocodillians are found, the water is muddy...A leustic alligator can easily hunt thumbsup.gif

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#9    robbieb

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 12:36 AM

yes but more ofrten then not they fail to live in there enviorments usualy they are singled out by other crocodilians or birds or large fish when they are still very small. if by chance they survive to be a size to great for predation then they can and will live somewhat normal lives although hunting still would prove more difficult then to a normal croc


#10    rickvdh

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 01:51 AM

cool, i live in SC maybe ill cruise down to columbia and check out the gator

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#11    3y3l3ss

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 04:03 PM

Iv seen the white gator at the Columbia zoo twice. Didnt think it was too special and would have went to the zoo regardless if it was there.

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