I want to introduce all of you to Claude, the albino alligator who currently lives at the California Academy of Sciences here in San Francisco.
Claude is a teenager with his 17th birthday coming up in September of this year. He weighs about 190 pounds and was born in Florida in 1995. He eats fish pellets and has his own residence swamp at the academy which he shares with turtles. He once had a girlfriend, Bonnie who was brought in to keep him company. Well, that did not last very long. After a few months Bonnie had, had enough of Claude's antics and bit him in the foot. Yes, this is a true story. So, they decided to leave Claude on his own which makes him much more happy than being with a mate.
Because he is albino, he has vision problems and will often bump into the glass and different things in his habitat. He does have a favorite rock which he occupies and is heated to his liking which is anywhere from 70 to 90 degrees. Because of their coloring, albino alligators cannot live in the wild, as their predators will eat them. So, Claude is a permanent resident at the Cal Academy.
Claude is very intelligent in that he knows his name when called out and responds to various whistle commands. He is a huge draw for tourists and locals like me who visit the academy just to see him.
Claude's habitat is located in the aquarium level of the academy building so you are able to get up close and personal with him. All of the photos I took here are from that location. He was very entertaining the day we were there and I was able to capture him swimming underwater.
This photo for me was a real treat. He was right up against the glass while swimming upward in his exhibit and I was able to get a closeup of his "scaliness."
Just look at those teeth, all 76 of them. I just love this guy even though I am deathly afraid of alligators. He has simply captured my heart.
Claude the albino alligator at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco
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