An alligator in a neighbourhood in South Carolina, USA has been nicknamed “Rusty” and the “Trump-a-gator” due to its unusual orange colour.
The alligator, estimated at 4-5 feet long, has become famous on social media after local residents photographed it swimming in the retention ponds at Tanner Plantation in Hanahan.
Herpetologist Josh Zalabak offered one possible explanation for the unusual colouring of the reptile.
“Algae — maybe some pollutant in the water, but it’s hard to say unless the water is tested,” Zalabak told WCBD-TV.
Jay Butfiloski, the state Department of Natural Resources’ Alligator Program coordinator, said the colour is likely tied to wherever the alligator has been spending its winter months.
“[It] might be iron oxide [rust] that has discoloured it,” he told WCSC-TV. “It may be using a rusty steel culvert pipe.”
Butfiloski said the coloration could also be due to a high iron content in the pond. He said similarly coloured alligators have been reported in the area in the past.
Locals have nicknamed the reptile “Rusty” or the “Trump-a-gator.”