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Swamp Ghosts: Legends of Fortune and Good Luck 

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2011 Special Exhibit

Open Daily, April-October 

Look into the eyes of a white alligator for good luck! Discover "Legends of Fortune and Good Luck" in the African Pavilion

Surrounded by the mists of Creole legend and Bayou lore, they are the Zoo’s newest attraction-white alligators. Our "swamp ghosts" are natural anomalies that are said to bring good luck to those that look them in the eye. Some plants, animals and even gems are said to bring good luck and fortune to those lucky enough to stumble across them. Make sure your visit includes a stroll through the Pavilion to discover some of these bringers of fortune.

What is a "Swamp Ghost"?

"Swamp Ghost" is a nickname for a white alligator. While novel and rare, white alligators lack color because a genetic or congenital white gator photocondition interferes with their ability to produce pigments. The first recorded sighting of a white alligator dates back to the 1980s, when someone spied one floating through a Louisiana swamp. Today, only about 100 of these rare, pale gators are known to live in the United States. The Zoo’s two albino gators will only be on exhibit for a limited time, so be sure to visit the Zoo in time to secure your fortune!

Discover the Fortunes of Natureunicorn

This year, animal and plant good luck symbols from around the world will dot the African Pavilion. From four-leafed clovers to dragons to unicorns, find out why these lucky charmers are legendary for blessings and prosperity.