A crocodile has left his owner puzzled after he managed to turn himself orange in the city of Geelong, near Melbourne.
The crocodile, named Snappy, turned orange over a number of days, causing owner Tracy Sandstrom to fear for his health.
Sandstrom, who owns a mobile reptile display called Roaming Reptiles, said of Snappy’s colour change: ‘I thought he was really sick. I thought he was dying.’
But Tracy was able to stop worrying once it was revealed that Snappy was perfectly healthy and that he had turned himself orange by chewing on the water filter in his heated tank.
Having damaged the filter, the crocodile was then affected by red algae from fallen leaves, which are normally kept out of the water by the filter.
Reptile experts predict that Snappy will change back to his normal green-brown colour in time, but his owner recognises that he has become something of a celebrity because of his orange hue.
She said: ‘It’s a collector’s item now. Everyone will want one. I should have put him on eBay.
‘There’s no change in his behaviour, his aggression, his territorialism. He’s still a really nasty crocodile.’