Orange alligator nicknamed 'Trumpagator' becomes social media sensation

Published: Feb. 8, 2017 at 11:55 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 9, 2017 at 1:00 PM EST
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(Source: Renee Gent)
(Source: Renee Gent)

HANAHAN, SC (WCSC) - The appearance of an alligator in a Hanahan neighborhood is becoming a hot talker on social media because of its orange color.

A picture posted to a group on Facebook shows an alligator lying on the banks of a retention pond at the Tanner Plantation neighborhood.

The gator has a distinct orange hue to the skin, which received attention — jokes and questions — from many people.

"Trump's pet alligator," one commenter said.

"Representin' that Clemson National Championship," someone else exclaimed.

According to the Department of Natural Resources' Alligator Program Coordinator Jay Butfiloski, the orange color may be a result of where the reptile has been living during the winter months.

"[It] might be iron oxide (rust) that has discolored it," he said. "It may be using a rusty steel culvert pipe."

To Butfiloski's knowledge there is no new orange-colored species of the reptile which frequents the South Carolina waters.

"It would not be a new species, just a genetic anomaly if it were naturally orange," he said.

However, based on research, Butfiloski suspects the color originates from the environment the alligator is living in.

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