Making national headlines—gator sightings are on the rise in major northern US cities, leaving many wondering how did these alligators get up here in the first place?
News outlets in New York, Boston and Chicago all recently reported sightings of quadrupedal reptiles walking city streets and swimming in city waterways.
Bringing to mind the old urban legend that crocodiles reside in the New York City sewers, a two-foot-long reptile was recently captured while walking the streets of Queens, according to the New York Daily News. However, where the little guy came from has not been confirmed.
In Boston, a fire fighter making his way to work came across a three-foot alligator crossing the street. According to the Enterprise News, the juvenile alligator was wearing a collar, suggesting it’s an escaped pet. But authorities doubt its owner will claim the animal since it’s most likely unlicensed by the state.
Additionally, a three-foot alligator was recently captured after being spotted swimming in the Chicago River. According to FOX Chicago News, at a chilly 65-degrees Fahrenheit, the Chicago River is too cold for the animal to maintain its 85-degree body temperature and so it has been removed and will be released into the Florida Everglades.
Being that these animals don’t belong this far north, it has presumed that the reptiles were being kept as pets. As a rule, the HSUS says anyone who purchases a pet but realizes they can no longer take care of it should notify animal control and seek help in finding it a new home in a sanctuary.