Massive 4 foot alligator found swimming in freezing Brooklyn Lake in

Massive 4-foot alligator found swimming in freezing Brooklyn Lake in Prospect Park

A four-foot-long alligator swims in the lake in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, near places where children play

  • The alligator was pulled from Prospect Park Lake in Brooklyn around 9 a.m. Sunday morning after a stunned passerby called park workers to the scene
  • The alligator was lethargic and slow moving due to the cold temperatures of the lake water – alligators are native to warm, tropical climates
  • A Parks Department official said the creature was likely abandoned by an owner who became unhappy with it as a pet

A slow-moving, frigid alligator was pulled from Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Lake Sunday morning after a passerby spotted the creature swimming in the frigid water.

The New York Post reports that the city’s park officials were shocked and, like witnesses to the scene, are wondering how the reptile got into the lake.

“It’s totally unexpected,” said Joseph Puleo, the vice president of District Council 27, who represents the park workers who eventually pulled the alligator from the depths of the lake and brought it to safety.

Pule told the outlet that this morning his team was alerted to the alligator’s presence “by someone who saw him.”

The call was made around 8.30am Sunday morning after the creature of the deep was spotted near Duck Island.

Prospect Park Lake in Brooklyn, where a 4-foot alligator was pulled out of the cold water early Sunday morning

The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park

The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park

A cormorant perches near Duck Island in Brooklyn's Prospect Park Lake, almost exactly where the alligator was found

A cormorant perches near Duck Island in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Lake, almost exactly where the alligator was found

“It didn’t move at all,” he noted.

The 4-foot-long alligator may have been feeling lethargic due to the cold temperatures of the lake water.

Workers removed the slow-moving caterpillar and took it to New York City animal care centers.

Meghan Lalor, a Parks Department representative, said the alligator in Prospect Park was likely a pet that became unwanted or outgrew its place and was subsequently released into public waters.

“Fortunately, no one was injured and the animal is being examined,” she said.

“In this case, the animal was found to be very lethargic and possibly in cold shock, as it is native to warm, tropical climates.”

It’s always a dangerous idea to release non-native animals into unfamiliar environments that they may not be able to get used to.

The alligator incident came less than a month after a malnourished non-native pigeon that had been dyed pink was found wandering around Madison Square Park in downtown Manhattan.

The Wild Bird Fund eventually determined that the bird – named Flamingo – had been intentionally colored and possibly used as part of a gender reveal, experiment or wedding celebration, prompting staff to issue a statement:

“Please never release native birds into the wild. Not for weddings, funerals, celebrations, art projects, anything. (We hope it goes without saying not to dye them, but…) They will starve or be exploited,” they wrote.

The Wild Bird Fund added that the bird appears to have never flown before and was likely purchased at a poultry market. The bird also showed signs of long-term malnutrition.

Flamingo, the group said, would not be able to survive in the wild because it cannot find food, fly well, or escape predators.

“I don’t think we’ve ever really had a pink pigeon in the clinic, so we were all quite surprised,” said Antonio Sanchez of the Wild Bird Fund. “We were honestly disgusted that anyone would do something like that.”

“If you see an all-white dove in the wild or a tame bird that is lost, it needs your help. Please catch the bird and take it to a pigeon rescue or shelter near you,” the group wrote.