But according to ABC News, that didn’t stop a 4-foot-long alligator from finding its way into a lake at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. The reptile was spotted back in February by park maintenance staff. There is still no clear understanding of how it got there in the first place, but sources presume it had been kept as a pet by someone who later abandoned it.
Usually accustomed to warmer climates in the southeastern regions of the United States, the alligator was “very lethargic and possibly cold shocked since it is native to warm, tropical climates,” explained the parks department when recovering the animal from the lake.
“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,” said the parks department.
Following its rescue, the alligator, otherwise referred to as “Godzilla” had been brought to the Bronx Zoo.
To rehabilitate the alligator, veterinarians and animal care staff worked to bring its temperature up and began feeding it nutrients through a tube, due to the animal’s unresponsiveness to food. Upon arriving at the zoo the alligator weighed about 15 pounds, which is about 20 pounds underweight for the size of the animal. Experts believe it to be around 5-6 years old.
Radiographs showed that the alligator had ingested a bathtub stopper. And unfortunately, according to a recent statement from the Bronx Zoo, Godzilla had died on April 16th, 2023 “despite extensive ongoing medical treatment, nutritional support and the successful removal of a bathtub stopper.”
Though removed, the bathtub stopper had caused a chronic ulcer of her stomach. The alligator was too weak to fight off infections later found in her intestines and on her skin.
“This was a tragic case of animal abuse. Alligators and other wild animals do not belong in the pet trade or in people’s homes. This alligator suffered and died because its owner decided to dump her in a frigid lake, in an extremely debilitated state rather than provide her with the veterinary care that could have saved her. Wild animals are not pets.”