If you're a Floridian or have spent time in Florida, you're likely no stranger to alligators. They aren't rare. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida is home to around 1.3 million alligators. To put that in perspective, Census data indicated that Florida had a population of 21,781,128 in 2020. However, there is a type of alligator is quite rare in Florida - the white alligator.
There are two types of white alligators - the albino and the leucistic.
What Makes Albino Alligators White?: According to Reptile Land, albino alligators lack the pigment melanin which gives most alligators their dark appearance. White alligators such as albinos are rare because of their genetic mutation and because they stand out to predators.
What Makes Leucistic Alligators White?: According to Gatorland, leucism only causes a partial loss of pigmentation, so leucistic alligators can have patchy skin and pigmented eyes.
How Many Leucistic Alligators are in Existence Today?: Leucistic alligators are thought to be rarer than albinos. According to Gatorland, there are thought to be only 12 leucistic alligators in the entire world.
How Many Albino Alligators are in Existence Today?: According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, there are around 200 albino alligators in the entire world today.
Where Can You See White Alligators in Florida?: Since these animals are so rare, you'll likely have to see them in captivity. There are zoos and facilities in Florida where the alligators call home, as follows:
Wild Florida: This facility just had a baby albino alligator hatch to a pair of albino parents, Blizzard and Snowflake. The baby joins a pair that hatched last year. The albino alligators are housed in a shaded area with a heat lamp to keep them healthy. According to Fox 35, visitors can view the new hatchings later this year. This facility is located at 3301 Lake Cypress Rd in Kenansville.
Gatorland: This attraction is home to both albino and leucistic alligators. There are two leucistic alligators (who are brothers) and three albino alligators. Gatorland is located at 14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando.
It is a good idea to call a facility before you visit to ensure that the white alligators are still available for viewing. Although it would be rare to see a white alligator in the wild, the University of Florida says that you should not approach, feed an alligator, or go near its nest.