The almost 5ft long female reptile was captured in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park in an emaciated condition on Sunday.
She is now being cared for at the Bronx Zoo after being removed from the park in a condition described as “lethargic and suffering from exposure to cold temperatures.”
The alligator is being tube-fed with “nutrients as well as fluids, vitamin B, antibiotics and an antifungal medication” the zoo said on Wednesday.
The zoo says that the alligator is estimated to be around five or six years old and weighs just 15 pounds, less than half of what a reptile of its size should.
X-rays on the alligator discovered the four-inch bathtub stopper, which cannot yet be removed.
“The alligator is currently in too weakened a condition to attempt removal of the stopper,” the Bronx Zoo said in a statement. “We will continue to provide supportive care for her and determine next steps based on how she responds to treatment.”
Keeping an alligator as a pet and releasing one into a city park are both illegal in New York.