Claude the Albino Alligator is Back

Star of the California Academy of Sciences returns

An albino alligator named Claude who was placed in an infirmary area for more than two months after being bitten by his companion is back on display at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

Claude was removed from the museum's swamp exhibit in early January after staff noticed some swelling in one of his feet. They later discovered that Bonnie, the other alligator in the exhibit, had bitten his pinky toe, academy spokesman Andrew Ng said.

The toe became infected and Claude was kept out of public view. He was placed back in the exhibit Tuesday after making a full recovery.

The academy has taken Bonnie to a separate holding tank where she will stay for the next four to six weeks while Claude gets reacquainted with his surroundings.

"We want Claude to be able to adapt to the exhibit without any distractions, so we put (Bonnie) behind the scenes so he can navigate the area without any problems," Ng said.

Albino alligators lack the pigment melanin in their bodies and rarely survive to adulthood in the wild, according to the academy.

The academy reopened in September 2008 after being closed for renovation for almost five years.

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