Gators are relatively common in swampy South Carolina, but are usually a dull gray, brown, or green color. This alligator shares the bright orange "Cheeto-dust" color associated with President Trump's self-tan, so locals gave it the nickname "Trumpagator."
Other, more realistic explanations for the gator's color are that the gator is orange because of pollution, or from resting in the orange-tinted clay on the riverbed. An overgrowth of algae or albinism are other possibilities. Hanahan, the town where the gator was spotted, is near Charleston and is considered part of the "lowcountry." This hot, wet, subtropical region is filled with swamps, rains often, and provides a good ecosystem for wildlife.
The rust coloring would most likely come off in the water, or when the gator sheds its skin.
Upon seeing a photo of the orange gator, the animal biologist exclaimed how surprising it was too see the bright orange animal.
"Holy mackerel! That's even more orange than the last one I saw."
Locals are mostly happy to have a Trumpagator among them, as two-thirds of Berkeley county residents (where the town is located) voted for Donald Trump.
And although the idea of alligators living in residential backyards spooks visitors, locals are accustomed to living near these carnivorous predators. Alligators mostly eat crawfish, amphibians, and aquatic insects. For the most part, they do not bother or attack people. Still, local authorities advise people not to let children and pets play near alligators or the swamps and ponds they've been spotted in. There are about 750 alligator-related complaints per year, mostly to move the animals away from residential backyards and back to their more suitable habitats. Nearby plantations have been converted into historical museums and wildlife refuges for the abundant local wildlife.
Although alligators like the "Trumpagator" are mostly shy around people, there have been cases of them attacking humans. There is a video of the alligator's larger cousin, the crocodile, attacking a couple in Zimbabwe, Africa. The couple was relaxing in their pool at night when a crocodile leapt into the water and attacked the smaller female. Skip ahead to the 20 second mark to see a real crocodile attack two unsuspecting people.
[Featured Image by Jorge Saenz/AP Images]