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Alligators in the Sewers?

Alligators living in the sewers a some of America's largest cities? This is an urban legend that has circulated for many years.

Every once and a while, someone reports an alligator in a sewer. Some of the most famous sewer gator stories come from the 1930s.

Probably the best known of these incidents occurred on February 10, 1935. A group of teenage boys was shoveling snow into a New York City sewer when they saw something moving in the water ten feet below them.

The boys soon realized that they were looking at a live alligator! They decided to get it out of the sewer, so they lowered a rope and lassoed the animal. The boys managed to pull the gator out of the sewer, which snapped at them once it was on the pavement. The boys beat the animal to death with their shovels.

They took the gator to a repair shop nearby, where it was measured and weighed. The animal was 7 1/2 feet long, and weighed 125 pounds. Soon the police were notified of the discovery, and came and incinerated the body.

Teddy May, NYC's superintendent of sewers at the time, began getting complaints of sewer gators around the same time that the boys pulled theirs onto the city streets. He supposedly went down into the sewers and saw all the gators that lived down there. Some say he had them all killed, but some think he didn't.

Sewer gators are most likely escaped or released pets. If you are ever in the sewers under one of America's biggest cities, watch out for them!

You can find out more about sewer gators and other out-of-place animals in my book Cryptid U.S.: Tales of Bigfoot, Lake Monsters, and More From Across America. 


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