The smallish orange alligator was spotted in a pond in the town of Hanahan, South Carolina and has quickly become a viral sensation. Its photograph was shared on a local Facebook page where people commented on its unusual skin tone.
Too much time in a tanning bed: Who is to say only humans can spend too much time in tanning salons these days?
"I have no doubt that animal is stained somehow, "Vliet said".
"Representin' that Clemson National Championship", one person wrote in the post.
While the gator's hue has inspired jokes, the reason for its pallor may not be so amusing.
An environmental factor like algae or a pollutant in the water could also color a gator's skin, but it's hard to know for sure, Josh Zalabak, a herpetologist with the South Carolina Aquarium, told WCBD News 2. He has reportedly been in the area the last ten years but just recently returned to show off his new orange coloring.
Josh Zalabak of the South Carolina Aquarium said orange or brown is not a natural color for an alligator, and the coloring is probably due to some environmental factor.
Since the color is not genetic, Vliet says that the alligator will return to its normal color after it bathes in clean water or sheds its skin.