When you hear the name Claude, what comes to mind? Well, if you’ve visited the California Academy of Science Museum like I did two days ago, you’re probably thinking about the giant white Albino alligator who is, yes, named Claude.
You must be wondering how I had the chance to go to this amazing museum. Well, this past week I didn’t have school. This was due to parent-teacher-student conferences. Still, we (me and my sister) got a whole week off! During this time, I helped build the set for my school play, I went Go-Kart Racing with my mom, and obviously, took a trip down to the California Academy of Science Museum. It was by far the best. Usually we (mom and sister) just kind of walk around and see what’s interesting, but this time we had the chance to go on a behind the scenes aquarium tour. I have to say, everything on the tour was pretty darn cool, but for this post, I want to share what I learned about Claude:
- Claude is blind, but he trained with his ears. Whenever it’s time to eat, caretakers will call out a special word and Claude will turn and move to the eating spot. Then they will drop food into his mouth.
- Something that we got to do on the tour was look at the food that they make for all of the wildlife. We learned that Claude eats very high protein and low calorie foods because he doesn’t move around a lot. Almost all of his food is frozen and sometimes Claude has “cheat” days where he gets to eat treats such as chicken.
- Claude can still find his food if it is dropped elsewhere, but the snapping turtles also in the tank will eat it before he does.
- Claude is very sensitive to the sun, so he is kept indoors. The rock in the middle of the picture is heated up so if he gets cold he will crawl there.
- Albino alligators are obviously not good at camouflage because of their light colored skin. Most parents of Albino alligators will try to eat their kids because the lack of camouflage can ultimately effect them as well.
Something that I’ve realized is that Claude eats mainly just to survive and stay alive, not for the taste. It’s kind of like he takes “pills” each day with the nutrients he needs. All in all, I thought that looking at all the different foods that wildlife eat at a museum was really fun and interesting. It was a great experience for me, and I highly encourage you to do just visit the California Academy of Science as well. And if you happen to stumble upon Claude, you’ll know what this guy eats…