Saturday, May 9, 2009
The Albino Alligator at The California Academy Of Sciences
The most famous resident at the newly designed California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco is Claude the albino alligator. Albino alligators lack the melanin which gives them the camouflage coloring needed to survive in the wild. Captive albino alligators must be kept in dark shaded areas away from the sun to prevent serious sunburn. They are also given vitamin D3 as a part of their diet to make up for their lack of UV radiation. They are also inherently visually impaired so they do not move around very often which could be dangerous for them.
I was happy to see that Claude had returned to his home. In January he had an infection in his foot due to his housemate Bonnie who had inadvertently stepped on his foot and as a result, Claude needed to be treated.
While I was there yesterday, I did not see Bonnie. Claude was lounging around by his heated rock. He didn't move very much. Every once in a while you'd see his leg or tail move. I think he just enjoyed the attention and wanted to relax a bit.
While I am not a big fan of alligators I have to say I grew very fond of Claude. He was the one main attraction I wanted to see during my visit and I was not disappointed.
I took many photos and video while at the Academy of Sciences yesterday so I will be posting more over the next few days with a complete review at the end of this series so check back daily.
BTW, clicking on the photos will give you a larger and detailed look. Enjoy!