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The emaciated alligator found in a Brooklyn pond Sunday morning remains in poor health while undergoing treatment at the Bronx Zoo, officials said Wednesday night.
The reptile called Godzilla is being tube fed because it’s too weak to eat on its own, zoo officials reported, and has a 4-inch-wide bathtub stopper in its stomach that must be removed.
Nearly 5 feet long, the female alligator found in the lake at Prospect Park on Feb. 19 is extremely underweight, weighing a mere 15 pounds when an alligator of this size should typically weigh between 30 and 35 pounds, officials with the Bronx Zoo said.
Godzilla is currently undergoing medical evaluation at the Bronx Zoo by veterinarians and animal care staff. After arriving at the Zoo, the gator was lethargic and suffering from exposure to cold temperatures. She was then slowly warmed up to an appropriate temperature.
But three days later, the gator remains “too weak and unresponsive to eat on its own,” according to zoo officials. “The alligator … is being tube fed to provide her with nutrients as well as fluids, Vitamin B, antibiotics and an antifungal medication.”
Zoo officials said that radiographs of the alligator indicated that she is between 5 and 6 years of age. Furthermore, an x-ray revealed that she had ingested a bath stopper — but Godzilla is just too weak, at this time, to have the metal device removed.
“The alligator is currently in too weakened a condition to attempt removal of the stopper,” according to the Zoo. “We will continue to provide supportive care for her and determine next steps based on how she responds to treatment.”
The Parks Department, which oversaw Godzilla’s capture and transportation to the Bronx Zoo, believes she was a domesticated pet who had been dumped by its owner. The department suspects the gator was adopted as a baby and the owner was then overwhelmed by the animal’s growth.
While Godzilla’s discovery shocked many, it’s not the first time a gator has been found in the Big Apple. In fact, Godzilla is the sixth gator cared for by Animal Care Centers’ in just the past five years, a spokesperson for the shelter group said earlier this week.
Since gators are not obviously native to the area, all are suspected to have been abandoned pets of some sort.