That having been stated, the wildlife officials who have seen the image claim that it is unlikely that the gator is naturally orange. Florida Fish and Wildlife official Gary Morse had this to say about the phenomenon: “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, making it appear orange." It has also been suggested that this creature may possibly be the victim of an elaborate publicity stunt by the University of Florida Gators, whose colors are blue and orange. Until the animal can be captured to confirm whether or not the pigmentation is genetic or artificial, this debate will no doubt continue.
In February of 2017, another orange alligator was seen by several people in Hanahan, South Carolina. The animal made the news and several photographs were taken. The standing theory seems to be that this one was either painted, or it was colored by sediment as well.