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Orange alligator spotted in Florida

Monday 10 Jan 2011 8:48 a.m.

The orange alligator

The orange alligator

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An orange alligator photographed in South Florida is raising questions about its bizarre pigment.

Sylvia Mythen snapped the photo of the gator sunning beside a neighbourhood canal in Venice.

The picture ran on TV after she shot it Wednesday and caused a buzz.

Experts with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have scrutinised the photo and say the colour is not genetic.

"The official opinion from our alligator experts is that this is alligator is not naturally orange," says Gary Morse, Florida Fish and Wildlife official.

"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."

Iron oxide is better known as rust.

A local university's football team colours are blue and orange, so it could just be a student prank.

3 News / AP

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