Here in Miami spotting an alligator is pretty routine. People tend to get a bit upset every once in a while if they eat a small dog or something, but otherwise it's no big deal. Up in New York or Chicago however the appearance of an alligator apparently makes people freak out and requires coverage by national media.
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In New York on Sunday afternoon a two-foot alligator was spotted in the streets of Queens and hid under a Datsun. Police had to warn people to stay away from the reptile, and called in the emergency service department who trapped the gator and took it to a police station. The entire incident was apparently worth about a 600-word story from the venerable New York Times.
Meanwhile in Chicago an alligator, that is at most four feet long, was spotted swimming in the Chicago river. It's the second gator spotted in the waterway this year.
Of course, the fact that alligators are not native to the region is notable. Most of the country's alligators live either in Florida or Louisiana. Officials believe that spottings of the creature in northern cities are due to people bringing small gators, usually from Florida, as pets and then dumping them when they get too big.
So if anyone is outraged it should really be Floridians. Stop stealing our wildlife, NYC and Chicago. We don't come up to your cities and smuggle away your pigeons and subway rats or whatever the hell it is you have there.