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NEW YORK – A long-held New York City urban myth states that alligators can be found in the city’s sewer system. On Sunday, an alligator was spotted — but in the waters of a lake in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

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According to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the 4-foot-long alligator, nicknamed Godzilla, was spotted on Sunday morning, WPIX-TV reported. A Parks spokesperson told the television station that the reptile was found in poor condition and was “very lethargic.”

Temperatures in New York City over the weekend were in the high 50s, according to the television station. Alligators, which are cold-blooded animals, prefer warmer temperatures and thrive in places like Florida, the Gulf states and states along the southern Atlantic seaboard.

Releasing animals into city parks is illegal, WNBC-TV reported.

The alligator was removed from the park, which is located in central Brooklyn. It was first taken to the Animal Care Centers of New York City and then transported to the Bronx Zoo for rehabilitation, according to the television station.

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“Parks are not suitable homes for animals not indigenous to those parks-domesticated or otherwise,” a spokesperson for the Department of Parks said in a statement. “In addition to the potential danger to parkgoers this could have caused, releasing non-indigenous animals or unwanted pets can lead to the elimination of native species and unhealthy water quality.”

As for the urban myth, alligators have been found in New York City before, although not necessarily in sewers. The city celebrates Alligator in the Sewer Day on Feb. 9 annually, The New York Times reported.

City officials said that several alligators are rescued every year, and most are former pets that have been abandoned after growing into a feared predator, according to the newspaper.