An abandoned and emaciated alligator that was found in a New York City lake and sent to the Bronx Zoo for recovery has died in a “tragic case of animal abuse,” zoo officials said.
The zoo provided extensive medical treatment and nutritional support for the debilitated gator, but she succumbed to her injuries on Sunday, the zoo said in a statement.
“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,” Bronx Zoo officials said. “Wild animals are not pets.”
An autopsy showed chronic and severe weight loss, extreme anemia and infections in the gator’s intestine and skin, the statement said. The gator, estimated to be 5 to 6 years old, also had a chronic ulcer in her stomach caused by a rubber bathtub stopper she had ingested while illegally kept as a pet.
That rubber stopper was later successfully removed.
When the gator was rescued from Prospect Park Lake in Brooklyn in late February and brought to the Bronx Zoo for recovery, she weighed only 15 pounds (6.8 kilos). An alligator of her length should have weighed 30 to 35 pounds (13.6 to 15.9 kilos), officials said.
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Today, a news report has rocked the city of New York. An emaciated alligator was discovered in the middle of the city and was rushed to an animal rescue center, but tragically passed away. An X-ray revealed that the alligator had a rubber bathtub stopper in its stomach, pointing to a “tragic case of animal abuse.”
The alligator was discovered by a police officer when it was reported as a large package discovered on the side of the street. After the officer arrived on the scene, it became apparent that the strange package was in fact an alligator. The distressed animal was rushed to an animal rescue center, where it was assessed by veterinarians.
Examinations revealed that the alligator was severely malnourished, with a body condition score of 0.5 out of 5, meaning it was in an extremely poor health. An X-ray was then performed to investigate further. Unfortunately, the X-ray revealed a rubber bathtub stopper in the alligator’s stomach. It is believed that the evidence points to a “tragic case of animal abuse” whereby someone had given the alligator a rubber bathtub stopper to eat.
The alligator sadly died a few days later due to being so severely malnourished. Police have since launched an investigation into this horrific case of animal abuse.
This story has shocked the city of New York and has led to numerous calls for harsher animal cruelty laws. It is a stark reminder of the suffering that innocent animals can go through when humans do not respect their rights.
Our deepest condolences go out to the alligator and we hope that those responsible will be brought to justice.