Miami-Dade County

Casper the gator was showing worrisome symptoms. So Jungle Island got him a CT scan.

Casper, the alligator, gets a check-up at Jungle Island

Dr. Jason Chatfield, vice-president of zoological operations at Jungle Island, talks about the process of performing a CT scan on Casper, the 19-year-old leucistic alligator, at Jungle Island in Watson Island on Friday, Nov.18, 2016.
Up Next
Dr. Jason Chatfield, vice-president of zoological operations at Jungle Island, talks about the process of performing a CT scan on Casper, the 19-year-old leucistic alligator, at Jungle Island in Watson Island on Friday, Nov.18, 2016.

Taking a 13-foot alligator to the veterinarian is no easy task, so Friday, Jungle Island brought the veterinarian to the alligator.

Casper is Jungle Island’s 19-year-old leucistic alligator. Like his namesake ghost, he’s all white, but he’s leucistic and not albino because his eyes still have pigment. Albino animals have blood-red eyes; Casper’s are light gray.

Casper has a history of melanoma cancer and recently began exhibiting unusual behaviors, including a loss in appetite and a decrease in weight. Jungle Island staff called in Mobile Pet Imaging, a veterinary imaging service, for a CT scan at the zoo.

Zoo employees wrapped the pale gator up, hoisted him out of his outdoor enclosure and into the mobile imaging truck, where he was scanned with hundreds of X-rays that combine into a 3D image.

Veterinarians hope they can spot what’s wrong with their sick reptile on the results.

Alex Harris: 305-376-5005, @harrisalexc

  Comments