Too much self-tanning lotion? Orange gator puzzles residents

HANAHAN, S.C. (AP) — No one seems to know why there’s an orange alligator in a pond near Charleston, South Carolina.

Residents joke the gator used too much self-tanning lotion. Or maybe it’s a fan of the Clemson Tigers, who are known for their orange colors.

Residents living near the pond in Hanahan say they’ve seen the orange or rust-colored alligator a number of times.

Photos show the 4- to 5-foot-long alligator on the banks of a retention pond at the Tanner Plantation neighborhood.

Jay Butfiloski with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says the color may come from where the animal spent the winter, perhaps in a rusty steel culvert pipe.

Experts say the alligator will shed its skin and probably return to a normal shade soon.

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