Rare alligator "Spots" dies at Audubon Aquarium
NEW ORLEANS - The Audubon Nature Institute announced that their albino alligator, "Spots," passed away Monday at the age of 28.
The Audubon Aquarium said he had been under the care of their vet team and results are pending to determine his exact cause of death.
The aquarium said his unusual coloring was from a rare genetic condition called leucistic. Experts said less than 15 in the entire U. S. American alligator population of 5 million have this condition, which makes them vulnerable to the sun and predators.
"We have been fortunate to be able to experience the wonder of such a rare and beautiful animal," said Audubon Aquarium of the Americas Managing Director Rich Toth. "Because of Spots' leucistic condition, his chances for survival in the wild were practically impossible. We're proud to have cared for him for more than 28 years."
Spots was originally collected from a deep Louisiana swamp along with a 16 other infants found by survey crew back in 1986. Some of the hatchlings were brought to the Audubon Zoo, and Spots was taken on by the Aquarium in 1990.