A toothy resident of the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher moved to new digs in mid-February and acquired a few new roommates, too. Luna, an albino alligator, still makes her home at the popular attraction, but now resides in the habitat traditionally reserved for natural-colored American alligators.
Luna, who previously lived alone, joined two females and one male alligator, sharing a large swimming area and lounging space. Visitors can watch as Luna and her new friends swim and float right up to three large windows, allowing all to clearly see her beautiful alabaster features from nostril to tail.
“Luna’s transition to her new space has gone well,” said Aquarium Curator Hap Fatzinger. “All the animals are currently adapting.”
Aquarium Husbandry staff did extensive research on bringing the alligators together, Fatzinger said. Based on size and gender, they are confident the animals will do well. As the dominant female, the albino alligator is six inches and sixteen pounds larger than her biggest neighbor. Luna weighs nearly 74 pounds and measures 6. 6 feet long.
Luna arrived at the Aquarium in early 2009, weighing less than 20 pounds and measuring 5 feet. She is a native of Louisiana but lived for a time at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm in Florida. She is one of only 50 albino alligators known to exist.
The space that formerly housed Luna, will undergo significant renovations in anticipation of a new bald eagle habitat.