One of the Academy’s most iconic aquarium residents is turning 21 and what better way but to celebrate this momentous occasion.
Gather around the swamp for a special gator chat led by an Academy presenter where you’ll learn all about Claude’s fascinating life, as well as the natural history of alligators and the conservation threats they face in the wild. Plus, be sure to warm up those vocal chords for a special “happy birthday” chorus.
Claude was (a danger to himself) in the wilderness due to albinism which did not allow
him to camouflage into his surroundings like the other alligators. There
are only a couple dozen albino alligators in the world, all in
captivity. Claude was taken to the California Academy of Sciences in 2008 and has led a very happy and fulfilling life leading the discussion on crocodile albinism for the San Franciscans and tourists who visit him daily. Claude’s toe was amputated after developing an infection from being bitten by another alligator. Claude has made other special appearances like an episode of We Bare Bears where Chloe and Ice Bear try to see an albino alligator at a museum in San Francisco.
Don’t forget to dust off your favorite party threads and top them off with a birthday hat craft with Julia Jane Moore, then raise a glass with special Claude-themed cocktails at bars around the museum. You never know, you may see Claude belly up to a bar too!
At the Project Lab, learn about Claude’s other reptilian relatives with UC Berkeley’s Museum of Paleontology. Then, talk with Cal Academy’s own researcher Kelly Markello about the unfriendly gator parasites that party a little bit too long with their hosts. The Academy Library will also be here to show us some other Academy legendary creatures from the past.
All in all, Happy Birthday Claude!
Written by Bob Cut Editors, photos sourced from Cal Academy of Sciences — Wish Claude a happy birthday too. He’s 21 after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Bob Cut newsletter and get the best of SF in your inbox weekly!