A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Rare white alligators, Snowball and Snowflake, explore new home at Newport Aquarium 

Newport Aquarium’s rare white alligators got an early Christmas present from Scuba Santa today – a new home.

Provided photos

Snowball and Snowflake were just introduced to the largest habitat in Gator Alley. After months of work on the space Newport Aquarium’s animal care team welcomed Snowball and Snowflake into their new home known as Legend of the White Gators.

Snowball and Snowflake are two of less than 100 known white alligators in the world.

Due to a lack of camouflage and sensitivity to UV rays, white alligators have a low survival rate in the wild. Gator Alley provides them a well-lit environment where they have a sandy beach and more room for their natural behaviors, such as swimming and potentially, breeding.

Their new sandy beach is heated, and will provide space for Snowflake to build a nest. The new space also allows guests up close underwater viewing of the gators.

“We’re always looking for ways to bring guests closer to our animals, close enough to care,” said Eric Rose, executive director of Newport Aquarium. “Getting eye-to-eye with these majestic creatures is sure to help visitors care more about protecting alligators in the wild.”

Snowball, the male alligator, is a whopping eight feet long, and weighs 175 pounds. Snowflake, the female, is six feet long and weighs about 95 pounds.

There are many legends about the sacred nature of white gators among Native American and Eastern cultures. Cajuns tell of gazing into the eyes of a white alligator to bring good luck and prosperity.

Visitors can see Snowball and Snowflake explore their new home now while Gator Alley is all decked out for the holidays. Experience the Cincinnati holiday tradition of Scuba Santa’s Water Wonderland  Nov. 23 – Dec. 31.

Also, in time for the holidays, guests who purchase three Newport Aquarium Annual Passes will receive a fourth Annual Pass free. This Annual Pass Holiday Special ends on Dec. 31.

Annual Passes are valid for one year from the date of purchase, so guests can use them now to experience Scuba Santa’s Water Wonderland and all the new surprises coming next year for Newport Aquarium’s 20th Anniversary.

For more information, visit NewportAquarium.com or call 800-406-FISH (3474).

Newport Aquarium

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