Gators in the sewers of NYC

Gators in the sewers of NYC? - Fact or fiction?
United States
December 19, 2006 6:04pm CST
Is this myth true, are there really alligators swimming around in the NYC sewer system???Here's the info I found:It was once a fad among New Yorkers returning home from Florida vacations to bring back baby alligators for their children to raise as pets. The baby crocs were destined to grow and outlive their cuteness, of course, at which point their chagrined owners would resort to flushing them down the toilet in order to get rid of them. As the story goes, a few of these hastily disposed-of creatures actually survived in the dank Manhattan sewer system and proceeded to breed with one another, resulting in scattered colonies of full-grown alligators deep beneath the streets of New York City. Some say the animals are blind and albino, having lost their eyesight and the pigment in their hides due to the constant darkness in which they dwell. Modern sighting It was not until February of 1935 that a large alligator was reported in a New York City sewer. According to the story, printed in the New York Times, several teenage boys were disposing of snow into a manhole when they spotted an alligator, allegedly 7 feet (~2.1 m) long, that had gotten stuck in icy water. The male youth then dragged the trapped reptile to the surface. After the alligator snapped at one of them, the teenagers beat it to death with their snow shovels. The report suggested that the alligator had escaped from a ship traveling from the Everglades and had then swum into the Harlem River and then 150 yards (~137 m) up a storm conduit to where it was found.[1] Sewer reports That same year reports were given to the city's Superintendent of Sewers, Teddy May, that swarms of alligators were thriving beneath the city. May, convinced that the men filing the reports were drinking on the job, took the suggested sightings lightly. It was not until he found that there was no real drinking of alcoholic beverages taking place in the sewer that he followed up the claims. To his shock, he witnessed a large number of alligators, most only about 2 feet (61 cm), to be living within pipes that emptied into the trunk lines below major streets.[2] Sewer clean-up All the reptiles were apparently exterminated within a few months, killed mostly using rat poison, flushing them out to sea through trunk lines or even shooting them. However, most experts believe that a sewer is not a fit environment for any alligator, and they would be unlikely to be able to reproduce down there. The animals need warm temperatures all year round. High vulnerability to disease would stop any alligator from lasting long in a city sewer. Of course, the major assumption behind these assertions is that the alligators in question would never venture back to the surface again, choosing instead to occupy the sewer/storm drain environment exclusively. The majority of the New York sightings indicate that the alligators were only small in size. It is possible that they were caimans, also a member of the crocodile family with a higher tolerance for low temperatures.[14]
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@AJ1952Chats (2340)
• Anderson, Indiana
4 Apr 09
We have neighbors with three sons (now grown and at least one of them is not only a dad but, also, a grandpa), and, when the boys were in elementary school, their parents wanted to make sure that they had a lot of happy childhood experiences--but they sometimes went overboard in doing so. One of those times was when they bought the boys a pet alligator. That alligator liked to run off and end up over in our yard. I remember one time when we were trying to coax him into a box to return to the neighbors. Our plan was to prod him there with a stick--a L---O---N---G stick! When the stick got near to him, he jumped straight up in the air and snapped at it. My mom said that she could just imagine tending her flower garden and have that snapping thing in there waiting for her. One of the boys mentioned to us that, sometimes, these creatures grew to lengths of 30 feet--which thrilled us to no end. We hoped that, should that happen, the monster would be confined to their basement. I don't know what happened to that snippy, snappy, grouchy gator, but it wasn't too long before he was no longer part of the family. Perhaps, they had a cookout, and the secret was in the sauce! That's an interesting story about alligators in Sewer City, even if all things point to its not being true.