This "Orange Alligator" Has Been Spotted In South Carolina

Why on earth is this alligator orange? Photo courtesy of Laura Carson

Behold, the eighth wonder of the world: An orange alligator. 

This rather bright delight has been spotted hanging out at a pond in Hanahan near Charleston, South Carolina.

Although this American alligator is no longer than 1.5 meters (5 feett), it’s already gathered a fair amount of admiration from the locals thanks to its distinctive appearance. He even has his own online following with the hashtag #TRUMPGATOR. Although, other commenters believe the alligator is actually just sporting the orange colors of the state's Clemson Tigers sports team.

As you can probably tell, this is not a new species of crocodilian. Just like a bad fake tan, it's unlikely to be its natural color. Jay Butfiloski from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said that the color might be due to the animal sheltering from the winter in a rusty steel pipe, according to the Associated Press.

Kent Vliet, an alligator biologist at the University of Florida, believes the reptile is simply coated in some kind of material. "I have no doubt that animal is stained somehow. He's the color of rust!” Vliet told the Post and Courier.

However, he suggested that the alligator's glow won’t be permanent: “It'll either wash off or leach off in the water.” 

As undoubtedly unique as this animal might be, its unusual coloring reminds us of another (in some minds, even greater) orange animal from last year – the legendary seagull who fell into a barrel of curry sauce and turned fluorescent orange. Lest we forget.

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Edited: Headline changed to 'South Carolina'

 

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