Noteworthy

NC Zoo welcomes white alligators

Posted March 28, 2011 5:45 p.m. EDT

— White alligators, natural anomalies that have fascinated people for years, are the newest attraction at the North Carolina Zoo. 

The “Swamp Ghosts: Legends of Fortune and Good Luck” exhibit in the zoo’s African Pavilion brings the white gator together with other animals and elements thought to be lucky.

Two seven-foot, female white alligators are on loan from Florida’s St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park. The animals are scientifically known as albinos. The white color results from a genetic defect of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes.

Albino animals are very rare because the characteristics that set them apart also make them more vulnerable to predators, more obvious to prey and less likely to find a mate within their species.