According to NBCConnecticut.com, a dead alligator was reported on the sunny shores of Suffield. The article is stingy with the details but apparently the wayward creature was reported on the banks of the Connecticut River. DEEP is looking into it, but for now I am just going to speculate wildly about the possibilities.
Of course there is the obvious explanation: some jerk with an illegal pet alligator and/or crocodile decided it was time to unload the beast. Fearing legal repercussions if he reached out to a rescue, he decided to just dump the thing in water that is way too cold for it, and the mindless killing machine quickly died. That’s boring, though.
So, what are the other options? Well, the Connecticut River has often been home to aquatic life that shouldn’t really be there. Remember when a Beluga Whale decided to swim up the river a few years ago? That was pretty cool. Manatees have also been known to mistakenly make their way up the east coast and find themselves in perilously cold water. Alligators are fresh water animals, so it’s a little harder to imagine one making its way all the way up to Connecticut, but they can also walk on land…so it isn’t impossible. It could hop from one lake or river to the next…I guess.
Why would an alligator do that? Climate change. If the water is getting warmer, I see no reason why the gator range wouldn’t expand. Before you know it, we won’t be able to dip our toes in our locals ponds for fear of getting them nipped off by a bloodthirsty Floridian.
There is also the possibility that this is one of those legendary New York City sewer gators, Flushed as younguns by an idiot owners, these mythical gators have long been rumored to have set up shop in the city’s sewers. Maybe, like other New Yorkers, this guy just had to to get out of the city for the summer and was trying to make its way up to the Berkshires, but met its end along the way.
Whatever the real explanation turns out to be, I’m sure the DEEP will bore us with it soon.