NEW ORLEANS -- The Audubon Nature Institute Aquarium's rare white alligator, affectionately named Spots, has died, reports CBS affiliate WWL. The Audubon Nature Institute confirmed the death of the 28-year-old alligator.
WWL reports that the exact cause of death is not yet known. A veterinary team will perform a necropsy on the animal.
"Collected from deep in a Louisiana swamp, Spots was part of a clutch of seventeen infants recovered by workers from the Louisiana Land and Exploration Company while surveying the area in 1986," said a statement from the aquarium. "The group later brought the some of the hatchlings to the Audubon Zoo and Spots was brought to the Aquarium when it opened in 1990."
Spots had a rare genetic condition that reduced the color pigmentation of his skin. It is believe that there are less than 15 gators in America with the condition.
"We have been fortunate to be able to experience the wonder of such a rare and beautiful animal," said Audubon Aquarium of the Americas Managing Director Rich Toth to WWL. "Because of Spots' leucistic condition, his chances for survival in the wild were practically impossible. We're proud to have cared for him for more than 28 years."