Crocodiles live in Florida and the tropical and humid region of the southeastern United States: in the far north, in New York, one of these reptiles was found alive, but in very poor condition, in a Brooklyn park, the city announced on Monday.
The extremely rare discovery of the animal, which may have been abandoned by its owner, was made Sunday morning in the pond of Prospect Park, the great green lung of the borough of Brooklyn, announced in a press release, Photo Support, New York Parks and Recreation Department.
The crocodile – 1.2 meters long – was pulled out of the water by metropolitan green space rangers, the press release reported, “in very poor and lethargic condition.”
“Fortunately no one was injured and the animal is under observation,” he was immediately sent to the Bronx Zoo, another borough of New York.
Without naming or finding the person responsible for the inappropriate presence in the city of alligators, the Department of Landscapes warned, “Releasing the animals in New York parks is illegal.”
The animal, accustomed to “hot, tropical climates,” may have suffered “heat shock” in the cool waters of the Prospect Park pool, even though it was 10 degrees on Sunday morning in New York.
“Parks are not suitable habitats for this type of animal, whether it is domestic or not.” This “could be dangerous for pedestrians (…), lead to the disappearance of natural species and change the quality of water.”
The last reported discovery in New York of this species of reptile dates back to June 2001 when authorities, the press and the curious spent five days after capturing a stray caiman in Central Park.
New York Rangers respond to about 500 animal health reports annually.
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