New York Residents Claim Giant Alligator Lives in Pond, Officials Say Otherwise
Is there an alligator living in Steinmetz Park? A number of residents claim there is a big reptile living in the pond. Locals had been calling Schenectady Police demanding answers. But when police set up a camera near the pond Monday, the results may be a bit different than what residents thought they saw.
Residents swore they saw a gator protruding from the water. Was a tree branch? The Loch Ness monster? No, according to the DEC, the animal in question was just a very big snapping turtle.
The Department of Environmental Conservation says it's a "large common snapping turtle with a 16-inch carapace/shell just below the surface of the water, which could have been mistaken as an alligator swimming."
The DEC says there were no track prints resembling a gator's near the pond.
Snapping turtles tend to live near shallow ponds, according to sources. Alligators are found more in the south, though some are kept as pets across other parts of the country and escape. Others are stolen, like this one from a Columbia County home in May 2019. Just a few months later, one was spotted in a Long Island swimming pool.