OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - Have you ever seen an alligator hatch? Now you can! Wild Florida recently welcomed an albino alligator hatchling – and it has a remarkable story of its own.
Sam Haught, co-founder of Wild Florida, an animal park south of Orlando in Kenansville, told FOX 35 in an email that the little guy was "the only one that hatched out of nine eggs."
"He’s doing really well in our protective care, climate controlled habitat. He eats small minnows and has a basking light to give him the UV light his body needs," Haught said.
He'll be kept under close watch for several weeks before he'll be introduced to Wild Florida's aquarium exhibit located in the gift shop for all to see.
It is the third year in a row that the gator's parents – Snowflake and Blizzard – have had offspring, Haught said.
In August 2021, Wild Florida welcomed two albino alligators, both from Snowflake and Blizzard, and welcomed one in 2020, according to Facebook posts.
According to Wild Florida's website, Blizzard, then 12, and Snowflake, then 23, came to the animal park in May 2017 from St. Augustine and became the first breeding pair of albino alligators in Central Florida.
Due to a lack of melanin, their skin is white and sensitive to sunlight, according to Wild Florida. "So our team built a state-of-the-art, climate-controlled exhibit with plenty of shade and a heating lamp to keep them comfortable in their new home," the alligators' online profile reads.
To tell the two parents apart is to look at their size: Blizzard is about two feet longer than Snowflake. Blizzard also has two opaque eyes, while Snowflake has an opaque right eye and two birthmarks on her left eye.
Other fun facts: the average weight is 500 pounds for males and 200 pounds for females, and the lifespan is 35-50 years in the wild and 65-75 in human care, according to Wild Florida.
Editor's note: Story updated to correct that one alligator hatched in 2022, not two.