Florida Zoo to Feature Pair Of Albino Gators

3 01 2008

Alligators are common at Florida wildlife attractions, but Lowry Park Zoo has started work on a unique way of showcasing the state’s signature reptile.A $1.5 million zoo expansion will house a pair of rare albino American alligators and a water flume ride called “Gator Falls.”

It is all scheduled to open in April, in time for the 20th anniversary of the Lowry Park Zoological Society, the nonprofit organization that manages and develops the zoo.

Beginning today, sections of the Florida habitat boardwalk will be closed so expansion can begin.

Albino alligators lack melanin, or pigment, in their skin, creating a milky coloring and cloudy eyes that appear to be pink.

The pair coming to Tampa were rescued from the Louisiana swamp and were acquired through an alligator farm in St. Augustine.

The male is about 8 months old and the female about 6 months old

“Because of their pigmentation and coloration, they wouldn’t typically last in the wild, so they have to be rescued when they’re young,” said Dana Metz, the zoo’s marketing director.

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