Tchompitoulas the Alligator: Virtual Programs with the Audubon Nature Institute

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NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA– The Audubon Nature Institute has interactive programs during the coronavirus that include visits to see the animals. However, perhaps one animal is more of a “Louisianan” than others, Tchompitoulas the alligator, the pearly white prince of the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.

Alligators are simply fascinating relics of a bygone age. Their kingdom stretches all along the Atlantic seaboard from North Carolina to Florida and across the Gulf South to Texas. For over 85 million years, alligators have bellowed and hissed to contribute to the great music of Louisiana’s Bayou.

A group of Alligators is called a congregation… just like in church. Also, unlike most reptiles, alligator are social and every now and again out of the group you’ll find a rare white alligator. leucism is a condition where there is a partial loss of melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives feathers, hair and eyes color in animals and human beings. An animal is albino if there is a full deficiency of melanin. One of the ways you can tell the difference is to look at the eyes. Albino animals usually have pink or red eyes as the blood vessels shine through, while leucistic animals have typical colored eyes.

Audubon’s Tchompitoulas came to the aquarium in 2009 with his brother Bleu. Bleu is currently on loan to the North Carolina Aquarium at Roanoke Island. Audubon has always been famous for having white alligators. The first white alligator was found south of Houma, Louisiana in 1987, just a few years before the aquarium opened.

To learn more about Tchompitoulas and Audubon’s other amazing inhabitants, the Audubon Nature Institute is currently offering a Virtual Community Connection series. This series designed to engage animal lovers and it comes just in time to give a small dose of zoo-life during while we are all social distancing because of the coronavirus. Online with Audubon, you can boost your spirits while in the comfort of your home and it consists of daily activities posted across Audubon’s social media platforms including: keeper takeovers, interactive videos, virtual visits the attractions, educational animal quizzes and more.

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