Alligator found in Brooklyn lake had swallowed rubber bathtub stopper
The emaciated five-foot alligator abandoned and then rescued from Brooklyn’s icy Prospect Park Lake had swallowed a rubber bathtub stopper.
The ailing animal, recovered from the water this past Sunday, was “lethargic and suffering from exposure to cold temperatures” when removed from the Brooklyn park and transferred to the Bronx Zoo, officials said.
The American gator, dubbed Godzilla and believed to be between 5 and 6 years old, at some point ingested a 4-inch wide bathtub stopper, an X-ray revealed to zoo veterinarians.
An alligator, called Godzilla, was found in the Prospect Park lake on Feb. 19, 2023. (Animal Care Center of NYC)
The alligator was too weak to eat on its own, and given nutrients, antibiotics and an anti-fungal medication through a feeding tube as veterinarians and animal care staff work to restore its health before attempting to remove the stopper.
“We will continue to provide supportive care for her and determine next steps based on how she responds to treatment,” the zoo’s statement said.
An x-ray of the alligator found in Prospect Park Lake shows a bathtub stopper swallowed by the gator. (Courtesy of Bronx Zoo)
Authorities believe the animal was once a pet, with its owner abandoning the alligator in the park. The creature weighed just 15 pounds, with the typical alligator’s weight somewhere between 30 and 35 pounds, officials said.
“The tragedy of this situation is a reminder that wild animals do not make good pets” a Bronx Zoo spokesperson said. “Responsible pet ownership means making choices that will not negatively impact an individual animal or the environment.”