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New Animals on Exhibit at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is pleased to announce a rare albino cottonmouth and a male African warthog are now on exhibit. They can be viewed 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily. The cottonmouth is on exhibit in the Herpitarium and the male warthog will soon be joining the Zoo’s female warthogs. The male warthog was born December 10, 2003. He is now ten and a half years old. He came from the Montgomery Zoo in Alabama and weighs an amazing 250 pounds!

“We are excited to have these new animals on exhibit at the Zoo,” said Shonna Green, Vice President, Communications & Community Resources. “We are always looking for ways to make the Zoo experience more educational and enjoyable for our guests.”

cottonmouthThe cottonmouth is rare due to a condition called albinism (or amelanism) which is the inability to produce melanin (brown or black pigment) due to a genetic mutation. Albinistic reptiles do not typically survive long in the wild due to a lack of camouflage, which allows them to hide from predators. Rather than having a dark reddish background color, the albino cottonmouth is yellow with darker yellow bands and has white flecks and pink on its head and lips. The Florida cottonmouth, also called the water moccasin, ranges through the wetlands of Florida, southeastern Alabama and southern Georgia. When disturbed, the snake will stand its ground and perform a threat display by opening its mouth, showing a white interior before striking. This is the reason for the common name “cottonmouth”.

African warthogs are found on the savannahs of Sub-Saharan Africa. The warthog is a tough, sturdy member of the pig family.African warthogs They stand about 30 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 120 and 250 pounds. Males generally weigh more than females, but both are distinguished by disproportionately large heads and “warts”. These serve as a fat reserve and are used for defense when males fight. The warthog characteristically carries its tail upright when it runs. They have longer legs than most other types of swine, and are capable of speeds up to 34 miles per hour.

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About the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens - The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is a 132 acre, 501 (C) 3 not-for-profit conservation resource providing experiences that excite and inspire children and adults to learn and act on behalf of wildlife. For more information regarding the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens visit www.centralfloridazoo.org or call 407.323.4450. The Zoo is located on I-4 Exit 104 in Sanford and is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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