Saturday, January 8, 2011

He's been tangoed: Orange alligator shows off extraordinary citrus hue


Orangey: The curiously-coloured alligator was spotted sunbathing on a cement pier in Sorrento Woods, near Venice, in Florida

Florida is famous for its orange groves - less so for its orange alligators.

But that's just what turned up near the home of grandmother Sylvia Methen, in Sorrento Woods, near Venice.

Mrs Methen, 74, said: 'When I was coming back from work I passed by, and I thought I saw what I thought I saw, but I had to back up and come and look again.

'I could barely believe my eyes. It was indeed an orange alligator.'
And Mrs Methen wasn't the only one who saw it.

'He was just sun basking right here on this cement pier minding his own business,' said resident Phillip Crosby.

Most people would be afraid to go anywhere near the huge beast, but not Mrs Methen.

She said: 'I thought this is great, and I am going to snap a picture and send it to my grandkids so they think I'm one of the coolest grandmas in Florida.'

She added: 'I got quite close and he was orange. So if it was mud, he did a good job of covering himself - he got every nook and cranny.'

Mrs Methen says she contacted a biologist, who gave her an explanation for the alligator's extraordinary colouring.

She said: 'His findings were that it's probably almost an albino, kind of in between. It's an albino, only a little more colour, so he wasn't a full-fledged albino.'

And Mr Crosby added: 'I could see him as I was passing by in my car, and he was definitely orange. His whole body was orange.'

Ms Methen added that the biologist believes the animal is so rare, even he hasn't seen one.

But Gary Morse with the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission says the alligator is not actually an albino, but believes it probably submerged in something like rust-coloured water.

source: dailymail

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