For those who like to stroll through Prospect Park and feed the ducks at its beautiful lake, take a deep breath.
A four-foot-long alligator was spotted at the lake this past Sunday. “Godzilla” was not doing well in the climes of Brooklyn, the New York Post reported.
No surprise, since alligators are found in Florida (more than 1.5 million of them, in fact) and not in Brooklyn, New York.
In this case, Godzilla was found by park maintenance staff at around 8:30 am Sunday morning in the lake, near Duck Island in the park’s southeastern section. They immediately called the Parks Enforcement Patrol and Urban Park Rangers.
The alligator is to be pitied: he was “very lethargic” and in “poor condition” when the rangers got to him, according to Parks spokeswoman Meghan Lalor.
Alligators require sunlight and warm temperatures to maintain a healthy body temperature, as do other reptiles. They stop feeding whenever the temperature drops below 55 degrees – can you just imagine how this poor creature suffered this winter?
“In addition to the potential danger to parkgoers this could have caused, releasing nonindigenous animals or unwanted pets can lead to the elimination of native species and unhealthy water quality,” the spokeswoman pointed out. “In this case, the animal was found very lethargic and possibly cold-shocked since it is native to warm, tropical climates.”
Lalor said the alligator was likely an unwanted pet whose owner decided to release it in public waters.
Needless to say, it is illegal to release and abandon any animal in a city park.
Together the park staff and rangers captured poor Godzilla and transported him to the Animal Care Centers of New York City, where he officially received his name. The gator was then moved to the Bronx Zoo, a place where the folks know how to handle a gator, and how to help when need be.