Saturday, January 31, 2009

World's Largest Collection Of White Alligators

(NAPSI)-What's more than 40 feet long, has blue eyes and 328 razor-sharp teeth? To see the answer up close, you need to travel to the "Alligator Capital of the World" in Orlando, Fla.

On display for a limited engagement, four of the world's largest white leucistic alligators are residing at Gatorland. Ivory in color, the large reptiles are each 10-to-11-plus feet in length, weigh over 800 pounds and have reflective blue eyes that are believed to have the ability to command good fortune to those lucky enough to make eye contact with them.

No one knows why Mother Nature produced only one nest of these incredible white alligators to roam the planet. Vulnerable to many predators, because of the lack of skin pigmentation, depriving them of natural camouflage, they likely would have never survived in the wild.

Collected from deep in a Louisiana swamp, the ivory reptiles with attitude were part of a clutch of 17 infants recovered by workers from the Louisiana Land and Exploration Company while surveying the area. The group later brought the hatchlings to the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans where only a few of the rare reptiles survived.

Now located along the theme park's main walkway, the cleverly designed 2,500-square-foot exhibit allows guests the opportunity to view these amazing reptiles from just a few feet away. The swamp-themed exhibit features rustic cypress walkways, glass viewing and softly lit enclosures that help protect the massive reptiles from direct sunlight while highlighting the unique features of the alligators.

"People are awestruck when they see them, and just one look into those icy, blue eyes will give you chills," says Mark McHugh, president and CEO of Gatorland. "We're excited to bring these thrilling animals to Florida."

And there's good news for anyone who wants to wrestle a hungry alligator: Gatorland is launching its 60th Anniversary celebration with a hunt for wild and wonderful photos, postcards and souvenirs commemorating the theme park's exhibits and shows since 1949. This one-of-a-kind contest offers something for everyone. For more information, log on to www.gatorland.com.

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