An abandoned and emaciated alligator, who was found in a New York City lake in February, died at Bronx Zoo on Sunday, according to zoo officials.
The alligator, rescued from Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Lake in late February, weighed only 15 pounds (7 kilos) when brought to the Bronx Zoo. An alligator with her length should have weighed 30 to 35 pounds (14 to 16 kilos), officials said.
“This alligator suffered and died because her 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 said in a statement, calling it a “tragic case of animal abuse”.
The alligator received medical treatment and nutritional support, but it didn’t save her life. The autopsy revealed chronic and severe weight loss, extreme anaemia, and infections in the alligator’s intestine and skin.
The 5 to 6-year-old alligator also suffered from a chronic stomach ulcer caused by a rubber bathtub stopper she had ingested while she was being illegally kept as a pet.