In New York, employees at Prospect Park in Brooklyn found and rescued an alligator. Park rangers captured the four-foot-long alligator last weekend and brought it to the Bronx Zoo for care and maintenance. This is reported by the Reuters news agency.

The alligator is said to be an unwanted pet that was abandoned by its owner in the park. According to New York City officials, the reptile was found “very lethargic and possibly in cold shock.” “Fortunately, no one was injured,” the city council said.

“Parks are not suitable homes for animals that are not native to those parks – domesticated or not,” said a spokesman for the agency. In addition to the “potential danger to park visitors,” he warns that “the release of non-native animals or unwanted pets could lead to the extinction of native species and unhealthy water quality.”

When asked about the alligator incident, many were concerned. “What? An alligator?! OK… oh my god,” says one family man while his two young children play near the shore where the alligator was found. “It’s quite frightening as this part of the park is preferred by children.”

In New York, it is against the law to release animals into city parks. According to local news station PIX11, New York park rangers are called out 500 times a year because residents report animals in poor condition. Among them are said to be some alligators every year.

Alligators usually do best in subtropical and tropical climates. In wintry New York on Sunday, when the animal was found and rescued, it was between 3 and 9 degrees Celsius.

Sources: BBC, The Guardian, New York Post