Word of an orange alligator in south Sarasota County spread all the way to New York on Thursday, after Sylvia Mythen shared photos of the animal with a local television station.
According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the reptile is not naturally the color worn by the University of Florida's Gators, but was somehow covered in paint or another orange substance.
“Its teeth are that color, too,” said agency spokesman Gary Morse, noting that state experts had scrutinized the photo and determined the color change was not genetic.
Painted or not, getting images of the brightly hued alligator has been a thrill for Mythen, who's in her 70s. She wanted her grandchildren in Indiana to see the gator she captured in a snapshot Wednesday, but was surprised by the attention it has generated.
Mythen, a Venice resident for the past eight years, volunteers helping residents at the Sorrento Woods subdivision where the animal was spotted.
“When I passed by and I saw and orange alligator, it was like, ‘Did I really see that?'” she said.
An ABC television station in New York called her on Thursday, saying her image could go national.
“They said it was a human interest story,” she said.
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