‘Very Lethargic’ 4-Foot Alligator Pulled from Lake in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park
Authorities removed a 4-foot-long alligator from a lake in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park on Sunday.
On Sunday morning, a New York City Parks Department maintenance worker spotted the alligator — nicknamed Godzilla — in Prospect Park Lake. After learning about the sighting, members of the Parks Enforcement Patrol and the Urban Park Rangers pulled the alligator out of the water, according to a Parks Department spokesman. Godzilla was found “in poor condition” and “very lethargic,” according to a Department of Parks & Recreation statement. He was also “possibly cold-shocked since it is native to warm, tropical climates,” the statement added.
“Parks are not suitable homes for animals not indigenous to those parks-domesticated or otherwise,” a spokesperson for the department said. “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.”
The gator’s rescuers brought Godzilla to the Animal Care Centers of New York City facility in Brooklyn, which later took the animal to the Bronx Zoo. Max Pulsinelli, a spokesman for the zoo, told The New York Times the alligator was still being evaluated, with no update available. Officials presume someone abandoned the alligator after trying to keep it as a pet, which is illegal in N.Y.C.
The American alligator’s natural habitat is in warmer temperatures, typically ranging from 68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, according to The Times. Though the lake’s water temperature on Sunday is unknown, Sunday morning’s air temperature was in the 40s. “People get these animals to show off,” Vinny Ritchie, a reptile expert in N.Y.C., told PIX11 News. “They don’t care about what’s going to happen a year or two from now. Who’s going to be able to care for this? Is it a good pet to have?”
Godzilla marks the sixth alligator found in N.Y.C. reported to the Animal Care Centers since 2018.