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Alligator Confirms NYC Sewer Gator Myth!

NEW YORK (AP) — The alligator that was rescued from a chilly lake in New York City over the weekend had swallowed a bathtub stopper, authorities said.

The nearly 5-foot-long (1.5-meter-long) female alligator was lethargic and suffering from exposure to the cold when it was found in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Lake on Sunday, according to a spokesperson for the Bronx Zoo, where the gator is recovering.

After being spotted by a park maintenance worker Sunday morning, the alligator was pulled from the lake and taken to Animal Care Centers of New York City before it was brought to the Bronx Zoo.

Zoo officials said in a news release that the rescued alligator is too weak to eat on its own and is being tube-fed. At 15 pounds (6.8 kilos), the alligator is extremely emaciated, as an alligator of its length should weigh 30 to 35 pounds (13.6 to 15.9 kilos), they said.

There has been a long history of finding Alligators in NYC. The rumors of gators getting fat and happy eating the abundance of NYC rats has become part of NY mythology for some time. If it weren't for UV rays not being able to get to the warm parts of the NYC sewers, a breeding population of Alligators could probably thrive down there. (They are warmer during the winters and cooler during the summers.)

There are crazy stories that come from deep inside NYC sewers. Some ridiculous stuff like homeless people being eaten by hordes of rats as well as huge mole people communities much like the ones Donnie encountered in Las Vegas. Earlier this month it was actually "Sewer Gator day" based on one of the first encounters with alligators being in there. 

This morning CityRoom reported that four years ago one Michael Miscione declared today Alligators in the Sewers Day. But any diehard urban legend obsessive knows that Alligators in the Sewers Day is February 9th, this coming Monday, and that it was declared so by Miscione and then-Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer five years ago. Anyway, plan your celebrations accordingly.

Miscione is celebrating tonight, however—the Manhattan Borough Historian will be at Hunter College to look back on the February 9th, 1935 sighting of a gator in Harlem. The next day, the NY Times reported:

The youthful residents of East 123d Street, near the murky Harlem River, were having a rather grand time at dusk yesterday shoveling the last of the recent snow into a gaping manhole.Salvatore Condulucci, 16 years old, of 419 East 123d Street, was assigned to the rim. His comrades would heap blackened slush near him, and he, carefully observing the sewer's capacity, would give the last fine flick to each mound.Suddenly, there were signs of clogging ten feet below, where the manhole drop merged with the dark conduit leading to the river. Salvatore yelled: "Hey, you guys, wait a minute," and got down on his knees to see what was the trouble.What he saw, in the thickening dusk, almost caused him to topple into the icy cavern. For the jagged surface of the ice blockade below was moving; and something black was breaking through. Salvatore's eyes widened; then he managed to leap to his feet and call his friends."Honest, it's an alligator!" he exploded.

This is one of the best episodes of Monsterquest I remember regarding trying to find gigantic Gators in the Sewers. The stories and sitings are legendary.


Even though this Gator was most likely released into the lake and not part of a breeding population of Alligators in the sewers. It's actually hilarious that the first sewer gator recorded got beat to death with shovels. Reminds me exactly of this tweet.

Most of the Sewer gator sitings had to do with people bringing them back from Florida at a time when they were a popular souvenir. Hell, they once found a guy with an Alligator in the bathtub in his apartment, but it got overlooked due to a Tiger being in there too.