Rescued NYC Alligator 'Godzilla' Dies

'This was a tragic case of animal abuse,' Bronx Zoo says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2023 5:03 AM CST
Updated Apr 22, 2023 7:31 AM CDT
Rescued NYC Alligator Too Weak to Eat on Its Own
The stopper can be seen circled in red in this image released by the Bronx Zoo.   (Bronx Zoo)
UPDATE Apr 22, 2023 7:31 AM CDT

The Bronx Zoo says it was unable to save an alligator rescued from a cold lake in Brooklyn two months ago. The zoo said in a statement Friday that the 5-year-old alligator, nicknamed Godzilla, received "extensive ongoing medical treatment" and a rubber bathtub stopper she had swallowed while being kept as an illegal pet was removed, but her immune system wasn't strong enough and she succumbed to multiple infections, the New York Daily News reports. "This was a tragic case of animal abuse," the zoo said. "This alligator suffered and died because its owner decided to dump her in a frigid lake, in an extremely debilitated state rather than provide her with the veterinary care that could have saved her."

Feb 23, 2023 5:03 AM CST

An alligator rescued from a lake in Brooklyn on Sunday is "extremely emaciated" and too weak to eat on its own, the Bronx Zoo says. In an update on Wednesday, the zoo said the alligator, a female almost 5 feet long, weighed 15 pounds when she was brought to the zoo and "an alligator of this size should typically weigh between 30-35 pounds." The zoo said the alligator is "being tube-fed to provide her with nutrients as well as fluids, Vitamin B, antibiotics and an antifungal medication." The alligator was lethargic and suffering from exposure to the cold when city workers captured it, NBC New York reports. The animal was slowly warmed to an appropriate temperature after it was brought to the zoo.

The zoo said the alligator had swallowed a bathtub stopper 4 inches wide and it isn't strong enough to have it removed yet, the New York Times reports. The zoo said it will "continue to provide supportive care for her and determine next steps based on how she responds to treatment." It's not clear whether the alligator swallowed the stopper while it was in Prospect Park Lake or earlier, when it may have been kept in a bathtub as an illegal pet. "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's statement said. (More alligator stories.)

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