55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
Regular Hours:


9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


8:30 – 9:30 am


10:00 – 11:00 am

Please note: The Academy will be closing at 3:00 pm on 10/24 (final entry at 2:00 pm). We apologize for any inconvenience.

Parking and traffic in Golden Gate Park will be congested the weekend of Oct. 3–5. Save $3 on Academy admission when you take public transportation.

Fly on the Wall 

January 16, 2009

Claude is on hiatus

Like all of the animals at the Academy, Claude, our albino alligator, receives regular check-ups from our animal health staff. Last week, during one of those exams, staff noticed that Claude had some swelling in one foot, and suspected it was due to an infection. This week, he was taken out of his regular Swamp exhibit to spend some time behind-the-scenes, where our animal health staff can treat him more effectively. His transfer to the holding tank was uneventful (always a good thing when you’re moving an alligator!), and his medical treatment has started. We all wish him a speedy recovery.

Filed under: Aquarium — Helen @ 1:29 pm


  1. I was wondering when is Claude coming back to the Swamp?
    Thank you.


    Comment by vince — January 26, 2009 @ 12:34 pm

  2. Hoping for a quick recovery for the very handsome Claude. He is sorely missed!

    Comment by Glenna Milleman — February 1, 2009 @ 10:56 am

  3. Good luck,Claude!

    Comment by Mike — February 1, 2009 @ 11:22 am

  4. speedy recovery to claude! do he and bonnie still not get along? i was told once that he man’s the rock and bonnie the water and they don’t let eachother in eachothers space.

    Comment by kim — February 1, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

  5. I noticed Bonnie hasn’t taken Claude’s usual spot on the rock. Do you think this is a territorial thing, or does Bonnie not have the same love for heated spot?

    Comment by AManess — February 2, 2009 @ 10:23 am

  6. So why is there only one heated rock for two gators? Why can’t they each have a rock so they don’t have to fight over them, and avoid future injuries?

    Comment by Jonathan — February 2, 2009 @ 12:44 pm

  7. My family and I enjoyed meeting Claude in December. New York friends coming to meet him. Hope he’s back on the rock soon.

    Comment by Judy S. — February 4, 2009 @ 10:40 pm

  8. Thanks to all of you for your concern and get-well-soon wishes for Claude. He is in great shape and will finish his medical treatment this week. He will then spend another few weeks behind-the-scenes as our biologists work on some navigational training that will make his life in the Swamp exhibit easier.

    Like all albino alligators, Claude has relatively poor eyesight. Therefore he prefers to spend most of his time on the Swamp exhibit’s heated rock, where he won’t bump into anything. Bonnie, however, has excellent eyesight, so she is happy to spend more time in the water. In time (and with help from our biologists and their training), Claude will learn his way around the exhibit better and will feel more comfortable in the water.

    Before coming to the Academy, Claude had never lived with other alligators, so his social skills are still developing. In the long run, Claude’s experience in the exhibit will be much more enriching and stimulating if he shares the space with other animals – including other members of his species. Therefore, our biologists will continue to provide training to help him navigate his way through his engaging new life at the Academy.

    Comment by Helen — February 6, 2009 @ 1:28 pm

  9. I want to know how Claude broke his pinky. I want to see him again when his pinky is fixed. Bonnie wants her friend back. Get well soon and keep posting pictures!

    Comment by Henry — February 19, 2009 @ 7:22 pm

  10. I was wondering if bonnie and claude came to the exhibit with their names already, or if it was a take on bonnie and clyde and who named them?
    thank you!

    ~ Michelle

    Comment by michelle — March 27, 2009 @ 7:49 pm

  11. Claude (who is now back in the Swamp exhibit and doing well) was already named when he arrived at the Academy. Bonnie got her name by popular demand – we asked visitors to our website to vote on their favorite name and I think you can guess the result!

    Comment by Helen — March 30, 2009 @ 10:17 am

  12. Where does Claude come from? How old is he?

    Comment by Ivonne Abrajan — May 31, 2009 @ 5:21 pm

  13. Claude is 13 years old, and was born and raised in captivity in Florida before coming to the Academy.

    Comment by Helen — June 1, 2009 @ 9:29 am

  14. I came to visit Claude in the swamp today (July 3, 2009) and did not see Bonnie. Was she hiding? Or is she in another tank?


    Comment by Sofia — July 3, 2009 @ 10:10 pm

  15. This is my first time here, and my favorite part is Claude, the Albino alligator.I read the article, and i’m glad he’s feeling better!

    Comment by Catherine — July 17, 2009 @ 1:04 pm

  16. The past 2 times I visited the science academy I saw Claude but I coun’t find Bonnie…..did they take her out because of what happened to Claudes toe….or could Claude not live with her? When is she comming back? I miss Bonnie

    Comment by Grace Zimmer — October 3, 2009 @ 11:27 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Academy Blogroll