Good-bye, Snowflake

World's only albino gorilla dies.

By Maia Weinstock|Thursday, February 05, 2004

Snowflake, the world’s only known albino gorilla, died of skin cancer on November 24. Known in Catalan as Floquet de Neu, Snowflake became a famous resident of the Barcelona Zoo in Spain because of his unique skin color, the result of a rare albinism gene inherited from both parents. He was roughly 2 years old when he was captured in Equatorial Guinea, in western Africa, in 1966. Only about 50,000 lowland gorillas now remain in the wild. None of the 21 offspring Snowflake sired are albino, nor are any of his six grandchildren. But the grandkids’ offspring will each have a 25 percent chance of turning out like their pale patriarch.

Comment on this article

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Collapse bottom bar

Log in to your account

Email address:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it emailed to you.

Not registered yet?

Register now for FREE. It takes only a few seconds to complete. Register now »