Claude (alligator)

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Albino Alligator 2008.jpg
Claude in his swamp at the California Academy of Sciences
SpeciesAlligator mississippiensis
Born (1995-09-15) 15 September 1995 (age 23)
OwnerCalifornia Academy of Sciences
Weight222 lb (101 kg)

Claude is an albino alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) at the California Academy of Sciences. Claude lacks the pigment melanin, which results in his skin color. He also has poor eye-sight due to his albinism.[1]


Claude was born on 15 September 1995 in Florida weighing 2 ounces (57 g).[1] He weighs 222 pounds (101 kg) and is 9 feet 5 inches (2.87 m) long.[2] He has 76 teeth.[1]

He was in danger in the wilderness owing to albinism which did not allow him to camouflage into his surroundings like other alligators. There are only a couple of dozen known albino alligators in the world, all in captivity.[3] Claude was taken to the California Academy of Sciences in 2008.[1] Claude's toe was amputated after developing an infection from being bitten by another alligator.[4]

Claude appears completely white because he lacks the pigment melanin. This is due to destruction of pigment-forming cells known as melanocytes.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Guthrie, Julian (14 September 2010). "Albino alligator Claude to mark 15th birthday". SFGate. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Famous gator gets a check-up". 10 June 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Albino alligator Claude to mark 15th birthday". SF gate. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  4. ^ Rubenstein, Steve (9 February 2015). "Tough times for koi continue as S.F. aquarium looks to sever ties". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  5. ^ "The Swamp". California Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 7 August 2015.