Rare albino alligator on loan from Florida park basking in Tennessee

Published May 13, 2007

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - This white alligator has it made in the shade. A rare albino alligator on loan to the Knoxville Zoo spent a recent afternoon basking under a heat lamp beside a warm pool with one claw lazily dipped in the water. If outside, her skin would burn in the sun.

"Is she real?" is the most common question from visitors, says Phil Colclough, assistant curator of herpetology at the zoo.

The alligator's name was decided through a contest and will be announced Monday. The gator is on loan from the Alligator Farm Zoological Park in St. Augustine, which has about 30 animals that have been acquired over the last 15 years from a commercial farmer in Cut Off, La.

The albinos are found in the same nest every year and are believed to be produced from the same pair, said David Kledzik, reptile curator in St. Augustine.