NEW YORK (Newsource) — The alligator rescued from a New York City park last week had swallowed a bathtub stopper, according to an update from zoo officials.
The wayward gator was discovered in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Lake by workers for the New York Department of Parks and Recreation last Sunday.
Since then, the reptile, found emaciated and suffering from the cold weather, has been cared for by the city’s Bronx Zoo. In a blog post published Wednesday, the zoo said X-rays revealed the female alligator had ingested an approximately 4-inch-wide bathtub stopper.
The zoo said it won’t immediately be removing the stopper because the gator is “in too weakened a condition.”
“We will continue to provide supportive care for her and determine next steps based on how she responds to treatment,” added the zoo.
According to the blog post, the alligator was almost 5 feet long and should have weighed between 30 and 35 pounds. But when she was found, she was “extremely emaciated” and weighed only 15 pounds. The zoo estimated that the animal was between 5 and 6 years old.
The gator is still too weak to eat on her own and is currently being fed by tube “to provide her with nutrients as well as fluids, vitamin B, antibiotics and an antifungal medication,” according to the zoo.
“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,” the zoo said.
It’s illegal to keep alligators as pets in New York City, according to the city’s website. Although the animals are abundant in southern states including Florida and Georgia, they are not native to New York.
It’s unclear how long the gator was in the lake or how she came to be in New York.