Gatorland makes history with birth of extremely rare white alligator; only 8 in the world

It's a White Christmas at Gatorland this year – but not because it's going to snow. 

Gatorland is now home to an extremely rare leucistic white alligator – one of just eight in the entire world, the park announced Dec. 7. It's also the first-ever alligator of its kind to be born in human care and makes Gatorland the owner of the largest collection of rare leucistic alligators in the world.

"Oh boy, we have some exciting news here at Gatorland," said Mark McHugh, President and CEO of Gatorland. "For the first time since a nest of leucistic alligators was discovered in the swamps of Louisiana 36 years ago, we have the first birth of a solid white alligator ever recorded from those original alligators. This is beyond ‘rare,’ it is absolutely extraordinary!"


Photo: Ken Guzzetti/Gatorland

The new baby girl and her normal-colored brother were born to parents Jeyan and Ashley, Gatorland said. They weigh 96 grams and are just under 100 cm long. At their recent health check-up, the Gatorland vet gave them both an A+ as they continue to eat bite-size pieces of raw chicken and other nutritional supplements. 


Photo: Ken Guzzetti/Gatorland

Leucistic alligators are the rarest genetic variation of the American alligator, Gatorland said. They're not to be confused with albino alligators, however, which have pink eyes and a complete loss of pigment. Leucistic gators have blue eyes instead. 

"Leucism in alligators causes white coloration, but they often have patches or splotches of normal coloration on their skin," according to Gatorland. "Without the darker skin pigmentation, they can’t have direct sunlight for long periods of time because they sunburn easily."

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Photo: Ken Guzzetti/Gatorland

Gatorland said they plan to display the two new baby gators early in 2024 for guests to see. For now, though, they'll be kept safe under vet care so their health and growth can be closely monitored.

The wildlife park initially asked for the public's help in naming the new white leucistic alligator and her brother, and they said on Jan. 26 they received hundreds of name suggestions. The little white gator has been named Mystic, and her little brother has been named Mayhem. 

JAWLENE UPDATE: Alligator missing half of jaw adapting to new life at Gatorland

It's the same system Gatorland put in place for one of its newest additions, a jaw-less gator that found a new home at the park after going viral for missing half of its mouth. Gatorland lovers on social media decided to name her Jawlene, inspired by Dolly Parton's hit song, "Jolene."