NEW YORK - A 4-foot alligator was pulled from Prospect Park lake in Brooklyn on Sunday morning. It is far from the warm climates where these creatures usually thrive.
"Unfortunately, the alligator was also in really bad shape," Katy Hansen, the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Animal Care Centers of NYC. "So it was not really in a position to be hurting anybody. Someone had obviously gotten the alligator as a small animal, as a baby, and it doesn't take a genius to realize that someday these animals are going to grow up."
The reptile was first taken to the ACC of NYC for evaluation before being transferred to the Bronx Zoo for medical treatment and rehabilitation.
"It's really crazy," says Hansen. "But we've been seeing a lot of animals like guinea pigs and rabbits being dumped in New York City parks. We've always had a lot of turtles. Thousands across the past three years have been just dumped in the ponds."
And with so many resources throughout the city, there's no excuse to abandon an animal.
"These are sentient beings. They can't just be dumped on the street. They can't be abandoned. It's illegal as well as inhumane and I would suggest that people contact ACC or call 311 and get some help."
Police are investigating the situation and how the reptile ended up in the lake. Meanwhile, the Bronx Zoo told FOX 5 Monday evening that the animal is still under evaluation.