A photo taken on Monday morning in South Carolina appears to show an alligator swimming down a flooded street, but observers are divided on what the image actually depicts.
The photo was captured by Charleston resident Allison McCutcheon as floodwaters closed a local street, according to Mashable. The region was inundated by record-setting rains on Sunday, leading to widespread flooding in lower-lying regions. Residents resorted to kayaks and paddleboards to navigate their neighborhood, and police utilized boats to assess the welfare of locals. The situation was exacerbated by an unusually high tide, which is commonly called a “King Tide,” according to WNCN.
— The Post and Courier (@postandcourier) August 31, 2015
Those who have viewed the photograph are divided, with some asserting that the image depicts an alligator, while others believe it shows nothing more than a log. While the local newspaper, The Post And Courier, notes that some people see an alligator in the image, McCutcheon herself says that she cannot confirm what it was, though she does point out that the image isn’t Photoshopped in any way.
“Is it really a gator? I don’t know it just looked like one. I surely didn’t get out and verify or take a closer look… I was just scared of trying to get through the streets — you couldn’t distinguish the ponds from the street and it was scary.”
— Business News (@BusinessNewzzz) August 23, 2015
Whatever the object in the image turns out to be, locals regularly encounter alligators in the region. Karen Rourk, of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, notes that alligators are wont to leave the area’s marshes and creeks when rising floodwaters present them the opportunity. Leah Rhyne, a friend of McCutcheon’s who first posted the image on Twitter, observes that alligators are all too common in their locale.
“I live less than two miles from where that pic was taken, and I run that road regularly. There are often gators in the local ponds, sunning or swimming, and we once had a gator walk down our street carrying a big fish. He hid under a neighbor’s car. So yeah. Maybe it was a log? But probably it was a gator.”
— Adilia Glenn (@AdiliaGlenn) August 28, 2015
While residents continue to battle flooding, authorities have reported no further sightings of an alligator in the region, nor an attack by one of the animals.
[Photo by Allison McCutcheon/Twitter via Mashable]