You don’t have to look very hard to find an abundance of colorful creatures in nature, but this is new.
Photos of not one, but two bright orange alligators have been making the rounds on the Internet recently.
The first was spotted in Hanahan, South Carolina, and then a few weeks later, another was seen in Calabash, North Carolina. No one is quite sure where the alligators got their tangerine-colored coating from, but experts say it’s most certainly not natural.
Jay Butfiloski of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources told the Associated Press that the animal may have spent the winter in a rusty pipe. And since alligators regularly shed their skin, these two probably won’t be orange forever.
As unusual as it seems, this isn’t the first time an orange alligator has been spotted. A similarly colored gator was seen in Venice, Florida in 2011.
In a report from the Christian Science Monitor at the time, a representative from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said, “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.”