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An alligator in SC is leading the way.

The sighting of an orange alligator in a pond in Hanahan, South Carolina has been grabbing the attention of residents wondering whether that's a normal colour for a reptile.

One said: "I guess he used too much self tanner?".

Neighbors says the gator is between 4-5 feet long and appears a rust-colored orange.

"I have no doubt that animal is stained somehow, "Vliet said".

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The other theory is that the altered skin colour is due to some sort of environmental factor, possibly algae, or a pollutant.

Jay Butfiloski, alligator program coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources, says the color probably comes from living in a rusty pipe during the winter months.

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Vliet, a University of Florida biologist, told Charleston's Post and Courier newspaper that the mysterious orange color is likely a temporary thing. If the discoloration is only skin-deep, it should disappear in a few weeks, when the alligator sheds its skin, WCBD News 2 reported.

Earlier this week, the gator was photographed basking on the bank near a pond, its bright orange skin standing out in sharp contrast to the patchy brown grass.