NEW YORK (PIX11) – The alligator found in Prospect Park Lake in Brooklyn earlier this year has died, the Bronx Zoo announced Friday.
“Despite extensive ongoing medical treatment, nutritional support and the successful removal of a bathtub stopper she had ingested while illegally kept as a pet, the alligator died on Sunday, April 16,” the zoo said in a statement.
Zoo officials said a necropsy revealed chronic and severe weight loss, extreme anemia, and infections in her intestine and skin. The rubber stopper also caused a chronic ulcer on the alligator’s stomach.
The 4-foot-long gator was spotted on Feb. 19 and taken to Animal Care Centers before being transferred to the Bronx Zoo.
It is illegal to keep alligators as pets in New York. And releasing animals into New York City parks is also illegal, officials said.
“Despite the intensive care, the alligator was so emaciated, debilitated, and anemic, her immune system was not as strong as it needed to be and she succumbed to those infections,” the zoo said in its statement. “This was a tragic case of animal abuse. Alligators and other wild animals do not belong in the pet trade or in people’s homes. This alligator suffered and died because its owner decided to dump her in a frigid lake, in an extremely debilitated state rather that provide her with the veterinary care that could have saved her. Wild animals are not pets.”
Anyone who spots an abandoned animal should call 311 or find an urban park ranger. Each year, urban park rangers respond to around 500 reports of animal conditions in New York City.
Aliza Chasan contributed to this report.