Bronx, NY – Feb. 22, 2022 – The following statement was issued by the Bronx Zoo:

“The American alligator recovered from a lake in Prospect Park on February 19 is undergoing medical evaluation at the Bronx Zoo by veterinarians and animal care staff. The alligator, which was lethargic and suffering from exposure to cold temperatures, is extremely emaciated. After arriving at the Bronx Zoo, the animal was slowly warmed to an appropriate ambient temperature and received supportive care. Too weak and unresponsive to eat on its own, the alligator, a female, is being tube-fed to provide her with nutrients as well as fluids, Vitamin B, antibiotics and an antifungal medication.

“When the nearly five-foot alligator was brought to the zoo by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, it presented as extremely emaciated weighing only 15 pounds. An alligator of this size should typically weigh between 30-35 pounds. Radiographs of the alligator, which is estimated to be between 5 and 6 years of age, show that she had ingested an approximately 4-inch wide bathtub stopper.

“The alligator is currently in too weakened a condition to attempt removal of the stopper. We will continue to provide supportive care for her and determine next steps based on 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 choices that will not negatively impact an individual animal or the environment.”


Media Photos:

Credit © Bronx Zoo


- Radiograph of American alligator, rescued from a lake in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, showing bathtub stopper in stomach.

- American alligator rescued from a lake in Prospect Park in Brooklyn under care at the Bronx Zoo.