A 4ft-long alligator has been captured and nicknamed Godzilla after being spotted lurking in a lake in New York City.
The US Department of Parks and Recreation said that after being hauled out of the water yesterday at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, Godzilla was “very lethargic and possibly cold-shocked since it is native to warm, tropical climates”.
The alligator “wasn’t moving really at all”, Joseph Puleo, the vice president of District Council 27, told the New York Post. Godzilla was captured by park workers represented by the council and taken to Bronx Zoo for evaluation after the “totally unexpected” visitor was reported “by someone who saw it”, added Puleo.
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A Brooklyn man named only as Moses told the paper that “if I saw that gator, I would have kicked it back in the water”.
“But man, I feel bad for it,” he added. “It shouldn’t be in a lake. Animals are like people, you know?”
Park workers “were shocked and, like witnesses to the scene, are wondering how the reptile – nicknamed Godzilla by New York City Animal Care Center – got into the lake”, said the Daily Mail.
Officials said the alligator was probably an abandoned pet. The “release of animals into New York parks is illegal”, said Sky News, and “can introduce a serious threat” to both humans and other animals.
A parks department spokesperson said: “In addition to the potential danger to park goers this could have caused, releasing non-indigenous animals or unwanted pets can lead to the elimination of native species and unhealthy water quality.”
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