first_img Watch: Here’s How Florida’s Gatorland Is Preparing for Hurri…Alligators Spotted ‘Swimming’ in Road, Climbing Fences in Florida Stay on target The South Carolina Aquarium is mourning the loss of its “extremely rare” albino alligator Alabaster, who died Friday after showing signs of an infection, which caused a red discoloration in his skin.“Our entire Aquarium family is mourning the loss of Alabaster,” South Carolina Aquarium CEO and President Kevin Mills said. “This is an animal that would never have survived in the wild. For more than a decade he lived here at the Aquarium, captivating the hearts of staff and guests alike and serving as an ambassador for his species. He will be dearly missed.”Alabaster came to the South Carolina Aquarium in 2009. (Photo Credit: Nathan Bell / SCA)The 22-year-old Alabaster began showing signs of infection late last week, namely a red discoloration on his skin. Aquarium husbandry and vet staff administered treatments to help Alabaster’s body fight off the infection, including fluids, antibiotics, vitamins, and nutrient supplementation, according to an Aquarium press release.“Unfortunately, Alabaster wasn’t showing significant signs of improvement. Despite our best efforts, Alabaster passed away [Friday] morning,” the Aquarium said.Alabaster came to the South Carolina Aquarium in 2009. He had albinism, a condition where he lacked melanin (or coloration) in his skin and eyes.After 10 years of bringing smiles to aquarium visitors + staff, Alabaster the albino alligator passed away this morning. It was proven through the staff’s incredible care + the support from visitors that Alabaster was one well-loved gator. // : @SCaquarium pic.twitter.com/8Hn8tfCgBg— CHStoday (@thechstoday) July 19, 2019“[Alabaster] had countless admirers, especially when he flashed his toothy grin,” the Aquarium said. “Some may have only taken note of his stillness, but he was so much more than that. Alabaster served as an incredible ambassador for the American alligator species and was an inspiration for many to care about the natural world.”Albino alligators are extremely rare – it is estimated there are only about 50 in the world. Albino animals have sensitivities to light, poor eyesight and are prone to skin issues. They also cannot camouflage themselves, leaving them exposed to predators. Because of these factors, Alabaster could not have survived in the wild.Alabaster battled signs of infection, which caused a red discoloration on his skin. (Photo Credit: SCA)The American Alligator was on the brink of extinction, but thanks to the Endangered Species Act has made a remarkable recovery,” Mills said. “We have Alabaster to thank for helping inspire a new generation of environmental stewards to care for animals and species at risk.”According to the Aquarium, staff members and vets are still working to determine what infection Alabaster was fighting.“We’re still doing all that we can to determine what Alabaster was fighting, in the hopes that sharing our findings can help others working with this rare and special animal.,” the Aquarium said.More on Geek.com:Tennessee Police Warn of ‘Meth-Gators,’ Urge Users Not to Flush Drugs‘Chance the Snapper’ Alligator Finally Captured in ChicagoWatch: Alligator Rescued After Found With Soccer Ball Lodged in Mouthlast_img

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