Rusty reptile or Clemson fan? Orange turtles show up in Myrtle


A Sun News story that went viral this week about an orange alligator in Calabash, N.C. prompted a Myrtle Beach visitor to report seeing several orange turtles while playing golf at the Myrtlewood Golf Club’s Palmetto Course.

An orange alligator was spotted in Hanahan, S.C. Josh Zalabak at the South Carolina Aquarium says his orange color is not natural, and it might be caused by a variety of factors. In the meanwhile, neighbors have dubbed the him the "Trump-A-Gator."

The turtles were found sunning themselves Wednesday afternoon on a rock by the 17th tee, near a spillway sourced from the Intracoastal Waterway.

“I think they’re Clemson fans,” one golf course employee said of the turtles.

Sheet metal underneath the spillway showed signs of rust. The turtles’ shells were also rust-crusted, the same source attributed to the orange alligator by a S.C. Department of Natural Resources official.

The Department of Natural Resources official said the alligator probably spent the winter in a rusty steel pipe, the same likely culprit responsible for rusty reptile anomaly at Myrtlewood.

The orange turtles were first spotted by Joe DeBlaere, who is vacationing here through February and March from his home in upstate New York near Rochester.

“This season has been wonderful,” DeBlaere said. “Lots of golf, sun and orange turtles.”

Audrey Hudson: 843-444-1765, @AudreyHudson