BRONX, N.Y. (WABC) — Ill 4 feet long alligator that was caught on Sunday in Brooklyn was found to have swallowed a 4-inch-wide bathtub stopper, according to The Bronx Zoo.
A Prospect Park maintenance worker spotted an alligator near Duck Island on Prospect Park Lake.
Officials said the rescue wasn’t too difficult given the alligator’s condition and its proximity to shore.
The alligator, which New York City Parks Department officials said is lethargic, extremely exhausted and suffering from exposure to cold temperatures, is currently being evaluated at the zoo by veterinarians and animal care staff.
The zoo said the female alligator had been “slowly warmed to an appropriate ambient temperature” and was being cared for.
He is being fed through a tube to provide her with nutrients and fluids because the alligator is now too weak to respond to food on its own.
READ ALSO | A good Samaritan helps a grandmother chase a stolen SUV with her grandson
“When the nearly five-foot alligator was brought to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Zoo, it appeared extremely emaciated and weighed just 15 pounds,” the Bronx Zoo said in a statement.
They say an alligator her size usually weighs 30-35 pounds.
The alarming discovery was also made after X-rays were taken of the alligator, which is estimated to be between 5 and 6 years old. They revealed that the alligator had swallowed a bathtub stopper about 4 inches wide.
The zoo says the gator is too weakened to try to remove the plug, and they will provide her with care and see how she responds to treatment.
“The tragedy of this situation is a reminder that wild animals do not make good pets and that responsible pet ownership means making decisions that do not negatively impact the individual animal or the environment,” the zoo said.
City officials are still looking for the person responsible for dropping the alligator.
It is illegal to let animals into New York City parks. If you see an abandoned animal, the best thing to do is leave it there and call 311 or find a city park ranger in the park.
City park rangers respond to about 500 reports of animal conditions a year throughout the city.
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News