What is toothy, terrifying and stark white? If you answered albino alligators, then you’re right. A pair of these reptiles were born in Wild Florida, Kenansville and are going viral around the world. Sons of 27-year-old Snowflake and 16-year-old Blizzard, the pair have a unique look.
In fact, this is the second time the couple has had children, last year another pair of babies also came into this world, as reported by Wild Florida itself. Albino alligators are rare, but not exclusive, as albinism can affect any living thing, including even plants.
The term refers to a condition characterized by the partial or total lack of pigmentation of the skin, eyes, claws and hair (in men). As the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported, albinism affects about 200 alligators worldwide. Such anomaly does not simply predispose individuals to dangerous sunburn, but the ‘lack of camouflage’ is a very serious disadvantage.
“Albino alligators are like candy canes,” said Joe Wasilewski, a wildlife biologist and member of the Alligator Expert Group at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In other words, they are highly visible to predators, which can be birds, snakes and even larger alligators.
albino alligators can be worth up to $15,000
In April of this year, zoo employees collected 18 Snowflake eggs and placed them in an incubator for 60 days, keeping them at a stable temperature to increase the chances of survival. Wasilewski explained to Live Science that albinism tends to make animals less resistant in general.
Above all, albino alligators are part of a long history in Florida, Louisiana and other alligator farms, where they are still under threat. Thus, several states issue licenses for hunting and collecting alligator eggs in the wild, supervising the control of the population of these reptiles.
In the 1990s, an authorized egg collector found a nest with several alligators without skin pigmentation. Above all, the Alligator Farm Zoological Park in Florida purchased the rights to harvest the nest for later years (alligators nest in the same area annually).