Albino alligators at Florida animal park produce rare batch of 19 eggs
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Earlier this month, staff members at an animal park in Florida were delighted to learn that an albino alligator “couple” at their facility produced a rare batch of 19 eggs.
The pair — a 25-year-old female named Snowflake and a 14-year-old named Blizzard — have lived at Wild Florida Airboats and Gator Park in Kenansville since 2017.
The park’s so-called “Croc Squad” found the eggs after noticing Snowflake began to build a nest and was extremely protective over the area, per Newsweek.
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“Alligator moms are some of the best moms out there in the animal kingdom, but unfortunately, Snowflake is blind due to her albinism,” Dan Munns, Wild Florida’s co-owner and co-founder, told WFTV. “To ensure these eggs have the highest chance of survival, we’re relocating the eggs to a more secure location to help protect them from natural predators and monitor their progress.”
In a video posted to the park’s Facebook page, one Croc Squad member — Andrew Biddle — said the eggs have natural predators such as fire ants and raccoons which “destroy alligator eggs all the time.”
“Because they are really, really rare, we want to pull them and just ensure they get every chance they can to hatch out and be successful,” he said, echoing Munns.
The eggs will be incubated for roughly 60 days. If things go as planned, officials expect the babies to hatch later this summer.
With the recessive albinism gene from their parents, albino alligators are unable to create melanin to color their skin or eyes, which leaves them white with pinkish eyes, the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago explained when it announced the addition of an albino alligator in May.
According to the zoo, albino alligators don’t have good chances for survival in their natural habitat which includes swamps, marshes, rivers and lakes.
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The bright white skin of an albino alligator makes it easier for predators to spot them and more difficult for the rare gators to camouflage themselves. Their skin is also more sensitive to the sun — which alligators depend on to regulate their body temperature.
Albino alligators’ skin can burn quickly in the sun and so can their eyes, which makes it difficult for these creatures to see their food and predators.
A spokesperson for the Wild Florida Airboats and Gator Park did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment on Thursday.
Fox News’ Ann W. Schmidt contributed to this report.
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