Alligator Surfaces In NYC

What danger lurks below?
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2010 2:00 AM CDT
Alligator Surfaces In NYC
A young alligator similar to this one was discovered tooling along 29th Avenue in Queens.   (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz)

Hold the phone: it's not a croc; there are alligators in the New York City sewer system—at least in Queens. The alleged urban legend turned out to be the real thing when Joyce Hackett pulled over to find a group of passers-by and a cop staring, agog, at a 2-foot-long young alligator tucked beneath a car at an intersection curb. “It was like the urban legend washes up from the sewer and says, ‘What the heck am I doing here?’ and hides under a Datsun," Hackett quipped to the New York Times.

“No one knows where it came from, if it came from the sewer or not," said police spokesman James Duffy. "No one had to wrestle with it. It’s not big enough to eat a dog—maybe a mouse.” It will most likely go to a "reptile rehabilitator" for eventual release into the wild. The city's office of Wild Care and Control handles some 4 alligators or crocs a year, which begin as housepets and become ... urban legends. Keeping the animals in the city is illegal, and anyone who does, said a spokesman, is a "real screwball."
(More Joyce Hackett stories.)

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