Capron Zoo Could Welcome White Alligator
The rare reptile is expected to be at the zoo by Memorial Day.
A rare white alligator could be taking a summer vacation at Capron Park Zoo. A City Council committee is expected to consider a four-month, $8,000 rental agreement with an alligator farm in St. Augustine, Fla. on Tuesday. The full council will consider the expenditure the following Tuesday.
Zoo director Jean Benchimol, who grew up in the southern United States where wild alligators are plentiful, said she wanted to do the exhibit because this area has no alligators in the wild and few in captivity.
"They are really cool animals, and unfortunately not that many people here get to see them," Benchimol said. "We wanted to bring a white one so we could show how there are different-colored alligators."
Animals that are unusually white are either albino or leucistic. The difference is easily noticeable because of the eye color—red for albinos and blue for leucistics. Benchimol said the one coming to Capron Zoo is probably albino. Ramses, the zoo's popular white lion, is leucistic.
The Florida farm is also expected to deliver a hatchling. Benchimol said the zoo's education department staff will walk around with the newborn alligator, showing it to visitors who will be able to compare the normal-colored baby with the white adult.
If the council approves the expenditure, the two alligators should arrive at the zoo by mid-May. The public will be able to begin seeing the reptiles by Memorial Day.