2010-08-25 / Features

Baby Alligator Found In Astoria

drain on Newtown Avenue on Sunday, causing a storm all its own for humans living nearby. The stir sent the terrified reptile running for cover under a parked car on 29th Street, where it remained until police arrived to rescue the 18-inch long critter.

An NYPD spokesperson said he couldn’t confirm how the baby reptile arrived in the Astoria neighborhood. “Maybe it was tossed from a vehicle by a heartless owner who was tired of it, or it could have crawled out of the sewer,” Police Officer James Duffy said. “I can’t say for sure. I wasn’t there.”

Neighbors were flabbergasted at the sight of the crocodile but urged caution to youngsters who tried to get too close to the critter.

“I don’t know if they bite,” one neighbor said. “But I’m not letting my daughter find out.”

Another neighbor said he opened his window to see what the commotion was about and heard everybody yelling, “Crocodile!” I expected it to be a little bigger,” he said.

Police who arrived at the scene were uncertain how the alligator made it to Newtown Avenue or exactly how they were going to capture it.

“They don’t train us for this at the [Police] Academy,” one cop said.

Emergency Service cops who arrived at the scene a short while later used a long pole with a noose on the end to capture the alligator and move it to a cage. The cops taped the alligator’s mouth before they delivered it to the 114th Precinct.

City Animal Care & Control officers who picked up the alligator from the Astoria Boulevard stationhouse said the reptile would be sent to a wildlife sanctuary to live out the rest of its life in a natural setting.

–Liz Goff

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