Large 4-foot-long alligator found in New York City park
A large, four-foot-long alligator was pulled out of a lake in a New York City park on Sunday.
The gator was discovered in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, the city’s second-largest public park. It was spotted by maintenance workers around 8am on Sunday morning, swimming in Prospect Park Lake.
The Parks Enforcement Patrol and the Urban Park Rangers were able to quickly rescue the animal, which they said was in ‘poor condition’ when they found it.
The alligator was transported to the Animal Care Center of NYC for treatment, where workers nicknamed it ‘Godzilla.’ It has since been relocated to the Bronx Zoo for rehabilitation.
The Parks Department currently believes Godzilla was an abandoned pet. It is about four-feet-long, and adult American alligators can grow to be over 12-feet-long over their lifetime.
‘In addition to the potential danger to park goers this could have caused, releasing non-indigenous animals or unwanted pets can lead to the elimination of native species and unhealthy water quality,’ a Parks Department spokesperson said. ‘In this case the animal was found very lethargic and possibly cold shocked since it is native to warm, tropical climates.’
American alligators are cold-blooded reptiles that depend on their environment to generate heat, according to the National Wildlife Federation. Although fairly common in the warm climates of the southeast, they cannot survive north of North Carolina.
‘The Prospect Park Lake is a Brooklyn treasure + home to park wildlife, but not a safe place to release animals,’ the Parks Department said on Twitter shortly after Godzilla was rescued.
Releasing animals inside a New York City park is illegal, and park rangers respond to about 500 reports of abandoned animals each year.
Godzilla is not the first abandoned alligator found in the New York City metro area this year. In January, a man in Neptune, New Jersey discovered an alligator inside a large plastic bin outside his home.
The New Jersey alligator was rescued on a cold January night and brought to a new home at the Cape May Zoo.
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