The reptile was spotted Sunday morning in Prospect Park, a popular spot for Brooklyn residents to picnic and walk their pets. The air temperature was in the region of 10-15 degrees, which is significantly different from the warm habitat familiar to this species in the southeastern United States .
The alligator was caught by park rangers, its body length reached 1.2 meters. Specialists found the animal “very lethargic and possibly shocked by the cold,” New York City Parks said in a statement.
The service added that urban public spaces are not a suitable home for non-native animals, releasing them into the wild is against the law and could “lead to the destruction of native species and disruption of water quality.”
The alligator was later taken to the Bronx Zoo for rehabilitation. The last time an alligator was found in New York City was in June 2001, when authorities, the press and residents followed the pursuit and capture of a vagrant caiman in Central Park for five days.
Previously, biologists have uncovered the secret of the fertility of naked mole rats.