Have you ever wanted to play Marco Polo with alligators?
A pair of nearly-blind albino alligators, Blizzard and Snowflake, are waiting for you to join them at Wild Florida. They’re two of only 12 recorded albino alligators in the world being cared for by humans.
Using a special call– check it out in the video below– you can direct the gators to different parts of their enclosed pool, and when they respond to your call, you get to reward them with a treat.
“There’s something special about being on the other side of the glass,” said Andrew Biddle, who, in his second year at Wild Florida, is responsible for taking care of the alligators and guiding visitors on how to interact with them. Biddle said he was born into the animal industry and by age 18, he already had six years of experience working with big cats, bears, and alligators.
“People tend to think they are these mindless eating machines, but they’re really not,” he said. “They are definitely dangerous, but they do have their own personalities.”
The gators have been trained to stay in the water and are rewarded with a special biscuit made of dehydrated chicken, fish, and nutrients. The biscuit, known as Mazuri Croc Chow, floats in the water, making it easier for the gators to find.
The lack of pigment in their skin means the alligators are susceptible to sunburn and for baby gators in the wild, it makes them highly-visible targets for predators like raccoons and snakes.
For Biddle, getting to know the cold-blooded animals’ personalities makes working with them all that more special. “We get to be interactive with the animals and it allows us to take better care of them,” he said.