Something ghostly is lurking beneath DC…

Just in time for Halloween! The National Aquarium’s Washington, DC venue unveiled an extremely rare albino American alligator this month in a temporary exhibit, Secrets of the Swamp.

This 4-foot-long snow-white beauty is one of fewer than 100 albino alligators in the entire world. Generally, alligators with albinism cannot survive in the wild; their inability to blend in with their surroundings not only makes them unable to ambush prey, but also draws the unwanted attention of predators.

Albinism is a genetic condition in which an animal lacks melanin, or coloration pigment, in the eyes and skin, resulting in this alligator’s unusual translucent scales and pink eyes.

Pink eye and translucent scales

Animals with albinism are also very sensitive to sunlight, another factor contributing to their low survival rate—their skin burns easily and light impairs their eyesight. The Secrets of the Swamp exhibit is equipped with special low-UV lighting.

This gator is originally from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm in Florida and will be on display for an up-close and personal experience through February.

Join us in DC on Fridays at 2 p.m. for an alligator feeding and talk to learn more about this special creature. And if you come to the DC venue this Friday, October 28, or Saturday, October 29, dressed in your Halloween costume finest, you’ll receive $2 off the admission price!

Underwater

This unique reptilian lady still needs a name! We took suggestions from our Facebook fans and Twitter followers and narrowed them down to five options. Vote for your favorite on Facebook, or by texting WHITE GATOR to 30644 from your mobile phone. Standard messaging and data rates may apply.

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