South Carolinians surprised the nation by giving political neophyte Donald Trump his first big victory in the state’s February 2016 GOP primary – now it’s giving America another Trump surprise.
That’s the nickname that has stuck to a 4.5-foot orange-hued alligator that has taken up residence in a Hanahan, South Carolina, pond, reported the Charleston Post and Courier.
A posting with pictures on the Tanner Plantation and Foster Creek Community Facebook page sparked comments about the origin of the reptile’s unusual coloring and, as so often happens in social-media discussions, the jokes followed.
“It’s a Trumpagator,” one commenter said.
“I guess he used too much self tanner!” another added.
Still another quipped, “It’s the Trumpagator of Self-Tanner Plantation.”
Twitter users got in on the fun, too:
“So the gators here in the lowcountry showing support for our president. Meet #TRUMPAGATOR found just now in a pond by my house. Cute lil guy,” tweeted a local resident.
“I say it got a hold on a bag of Cheeto’s. My fingers turn orange when I eat them. Just a guess though,” tweeted one.
“Democrats’ worst nightmares coming true. Even the environment is turning against them. #Trumpagator!” tweeted another.
The obligatory references to “draining the swamp” were not lacking.
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Joke or no joke, the alligator’s color is not natural or the result of a genetic abnormality, said Kent A. Vliet, an alligator biologist at the University of Florida.
“I have no doubt that animal is stained somehow,” Vliet said. “He’s the color of rust.”
Locals initially speculated the color might be due to the red clay common in the region or perhaps the animal was overwintering in a rusty drain pipe.
Albino alligators exist and are completely white, and while alligators with reddish-orange patches are possible, overall they have normal coloration over most of their bodies.
A similar sighting of an all-orange alligator in Florida in 2011 was attributed to a possible prank or some biological agent in the water by state wildlife officials.
Hanahan’s Trumpagator should lose it’s orange color, Vlirt said, if it doesn’t return to the environment that caused the stain or when it naturally sheds its skin.