Albino alligator babies make white Christmas

Photo by John Brueggen courtesy of St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Four rare, baby white alligators will be on display in St. Augustine just in time for Christmas.

The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park says it has added the tiny albino gators to its menagerie thanks to a Louisiana rancher.

Zoo director John Brueggen says the white baby alligators are the product of a rare genetic mutation that results in the absence of skin pigment, called melanin.

The St. Augustine Record reports that the farm will keep the babies in a sheltered environment to protect them from the sun. They have no natural defenses for the rays.

The zoo is calling them "Christmas Snowflakes," and they are already living in their own pond with heated water and rocks to keep them warm.

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.