The truth behind the viral Lake Hartwell gator video - FOX Carolina 21

The truth behind the viral Lake Hartwell gator video

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"Gator" on Lake Hartwell (Source: Andy Daniel) "Gator" on Lake Hartwell (Source: Andy Daniel)
Brandon LaVorgna with the alligator decoy (June 1, 2018/FOX Carolina) Brandon LaVorgna with the alligator decoy (June 1, 2018/FOX Carolina)
LAKE HARTWELL, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Is there an alligator in Lake Hartwell? A Facebook video that received thousands of shares has many asking.

On Thursday, Andy Daniel posted a video of a gator head he spotted in the water at Dock 3 of the Portman Marina on Hartwell. In less than 24 hours, it received more than 128,000 views.

Daniel posted the video on Facebook immediately after spotting the gator, but when he approached it for a closer look, he noticed something was off. When he poked it, he realized the alligator was a fake.

From a distance, it can look pretty convincing.

Daniel never intended to prank anyone with the video - in fact, he never expected it to go viral. In the rain, he thought it was real and wanted to make others aware of what he thought was a safety risk.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said every few years they do have alligators turn up in the area.

Michael Bell, the true owner of the mystery gator, said he purchases the decoy to keep geese away from his boat. In case you were wondering, Bell said the alligator's name is Steve - but he has already ordered another to replace it.

FOX Carolina's Brandon LaVorgna has more details on debunking the Lake Hartwell gator:

Here is Andy Daniel's viral video of the alligator:

MORE NEWS: Upstate veterinarian arrested after viral video says discipline was appropriate

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