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Gator Found Roaming Queens Neighborhood

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For years, many have long been skeptical of the urban legend that claims alligators dwell in the New York City sewer system. Over the weekend, however, the myth gained some cred after a pint-size gator was spotted roaming the streets of Queens.

The reptile, described as a 2-foot-long baby alligator, was found Sunday at around 3 p.m. underneath a parked car in the Astoria section of Queens on Newton Ave. and 29th St, according to authorities.

Police spokesman James Duffy said it wasn't clear if the gator originated from a nearby sewage drain. It's a notion that wasn't immediately ruled out.

Resident Helen Alteri, who who lives near the corner of 29th and Newtown, told PIX 11 News she noticed a small crowd of people circled around a blue Datsun on the street. Growing increasingly curious, Alteri walked closer to get a good look when she noticed the 2-foot-long baby reptile.

"I thought it was a joke," she said.

Alteri, along with other witnesses, said the reptile looked dazed and confused.

Duffy said Emergency Service Units used a long pole and a noose to corral the alligator into a cage. It's mouth was reportedly tied in black electrical tape before it was taken to the nearest police precinct.

City Animal Care & Control officers took the alligator and sent it to Animal Care and Control in East New York, where the reptile is staying until it is shipped off to a sanctuary in Pennyslvania.

Animal expert Michael Pastore says the urban legend, that alligators live in the sewers, is just that -- an urban legend.

He believes the most logical explanation is that someone brought the baby gator online.

"I think someone had it as a pet ... and mom or dad said 'No way" and they just dumped it out on the curb," said Patore.

Under New York City law, It is illegal to keep alligators, crocodiles or caimans in homes. Investigators are still trying to determine its origins.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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