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Orange Gator?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 10th, 2011


Photo by Sylvia Mythen.


Sylvia Mythen, a 74-year-old woman from Venice, Florida, snapped the above photo of this orange alligator sunning itself by a pond near her home, a few days ago. (The image hit the media at the end of last week, as I was traveling to the State of Florida, so I wasn’t able to post this until now.)

Florida Wildlife Commission experts have analyzed the photo and determined that the reptile’s coloring is not genetic. Officials suspect the animal might be the victim of a prank but won’t know for sure until they can examine it.

But Geoff Isles, district manager for an wildlife control company in Sarasota, Florida, is stymied.

“I would have no idea how to dye an alligator — especially a normal skin-toned alligator in his natural state,” he told AOL News. “Their skin is just so extremely thick that I don’t know how, short of tattooing, you would get it that color.”


Photo by Linda Bernard.

Sylvia Mythen wasn’t the only one who saw it. “He was just sun basking right here on this cement pier minding his own business,” says Phillip Crosby.

Most people would be afraid; but not Sylvia. “I thought this is great…I’m going to snap a picture and send it to my grandkids so they think I’m one of the coolest grandmas in Florida.”

In the picture she took, seen first on My Suncoast and ABC 7, you can clearly see that the reptile is orange.

Some neighbors say they were a little skeptical, thinking it was dirt or mud. But at closer glance…”I see him as I was passing by in my car, and he was definitely orange…his whole body was orange,” says Crosby.

“I was from him to you away from him, and he was orange. So if it was mud, he did a good job of covering himself…every nook and cranny,” says Mythen.

She not only contacted ABC 7, but she also contacted a biologist. “His findings were that it’s probably almost an albino…in between. It’s an albino, only a little more color, so he wasn’t a full-fledged albino.”

For now, residents say the orange gator is more than welcome to call Sorrento Woods home.

Mythen says the biologist told her that the orange gator is extremely rare. So rare in fact that he’s never even seen one.

Gary Morse from Florida Fish and Wildlife says, “The official opinion from our alligator experts is that this is alligator is not naturally orange. We believe it’s orange from paint, stain, iron oxide or some other element in the environment that has left a coating on the animal, making it appear orange.”


Photo by Loren Coleman of an albino American Alligator, taken January 8, 2011, at St. Augustine’s Alligator Farm.


Normal coloring for an American alligator (above) is much different than the orange morph noted recently.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


14 Responses to “Orange Gator?”

  1. graybear responds:

    In the places where the natural color of through, it looks to be fairly normal, on the head and the underside of the tail. I’d guess the gator was stained by mud (mud in the south is often a bright orange color from the famous ‘red clay’ of the region).

  2. tampasteve responds:

    Word over the weekend down here is that the color is painted on. Apparently the teeth are orange too…why or how someone would paint it is another matter.

    Steve

  3. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Maybe this gator really really *really* likes Cheetos :-P

  4. kaboobi responds:

    very intriguing.. I have seen hundreds if not thousands of gators in southeast louisiana and have never seen anything remotely colored like this one! Trippy! :)

  5. thatericn responds:

    Our scaly friend looks like he stayed in an old, rusty water or industrial tank or pond for a while. The staining has worn off under the tail, and is not at strong around the eyes, making me think this is a discoloration related to submerging in muddy, rusty or otherwise impure water of some sort.

    Eric N.

  6. FunkyBunky responds:

    Clearly a University of Florida Gators fan getting ready for a tailgate party.

  7. MattBille responds:

    How big is the gator? This looks like some sicko went after it with spraypaint, although I have no idea how they restrained the alligator.

  8. Allen Hopps responds:

    They really arent that hard to restrain, I used to wrestle aligators in Orlando. Right now is the time to do it to, with the cold weather and water I bet they are downright sedentary.

  9. David-Australia responds:

    Oh, sorry, yes, the orange alligator, now I see it – I was too busy looking at the buxom female…

  10. tampasteve responds:

    The mud idea would be valid in some parts of the south, but not this area. The mud where the alligator is located is of the usual brown/black type of soil.

    Steve

  11. Nick Redfern responds:

    Maybe he likes orange Gatorade…?

    :)

  12. Florida Cat responds:

    I have to agree with it some how getting into paint or orange paint thrown on it as a joke. Maybe by Gator fans? No pun intended.

  13. red_pill_junkie responds:

    @ Nick: Oh no you didn’t! Now an advertising executive is going to find this and say “Hey!”.

    You’ll be hearing from PETA real soon, sir :-P

  14. Mïk responds:

    The guy had a home in a scrapyard with ponds of rusty water. The top of his head is still gator-colored and his tail didn’t get stained because it sloshed around and was washed of the rust constantly.

    That being said, it is good camoflauge. He looks like a log.



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