NEW YORK (PIX11) — An alligator found in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park on Sunday isn’t the first of its kind found in New York City.
It also isn’t the only animal more often seen in a zoo spotted in the city. PIX11 took a look back at some of the strangest animals seen in New York City:
2001: On June 16, 2001, an off-duty police officer and his kids spotted what they thought was an alligator on the loose in Central Park, according to the Parks Department. Days later, alligator wrestlers from Florida came to New York City to capture the animal. They found and rescued the reptile, which turned out to be a caiman, a species of crocodile that’s native Central and South American wetlands.
2003: A tiger was rescued from a Harlem apartment. The 400-pound animal’s owner was arrested for reckless endangerment. The tiger, named Ming, died in 2019 at the Noah’s Lost Ark Exotic Animal Rescue Center in Ohio.
2013: Sharks on a plane? Try shark on a train. A dead sand shark was found on a Queens-bound N train.
2015: Police found an alligator and nine boa constrictors in a Brooklyn home.
2018: Another alligator was found abandoned in a tank in Queens. By the time officers arrived, the gator had freed itself from the tank and was attempting to escape. The alligator was named Toby after it was captured.
2018: New Yorkers and visitors flocked to Central Park trying to get a picture of a rare Mandarin duck. The species isn’t one found in the wild in North America.
2018: Later in 2018, police caught a coyote in Manhattan. It was taken to a shelter in Brooklyn.
2020: A Bronx man found an 8-foot python by his mailbox, police said. Officers captured the snake and brought it to Animal Care Centers.
2021: An 11-month-old cougar was found in a New York City apartment. The 80-pound animal, which was being kept as a pet in the Bronx, was initially taken to the Bronx Zoo for care.