Interesting infographic illustration by Thomas Wilder from MGMTdesign.
"When we read about poor Sludgie, it inspired this set of illustrations showing selected members of NYC's urban menagerie."
Hal was first spotted and described as a hyena by someone who called from a taxi on the 66th Street transverse. A few days later, Sara Hobel, the director of the city’s Urban Park Rangers in Central Park was notfied by Central Park Conservancy that they had spotted Hal in the Hallett Nature Sanctuary within sprinting distance of the Wollman Rink and the carousel. It is speculated that Hal had made it down to the Bronx and crossed into Manhattan across a railroad bridge at Spuyten Duyvil. Hal was first cornered by authorities near the Heckscher Ballfields near 62nd Street, but he evaded capture, retreating to his hiding place near the Wollman Skating rink. Hal eventually re-emerged a day later in the Ramble where officers were able to tranquilize him. Hal was then evaluated and after some rest, released back into the wild.
The manatee was said to have swum past Manhattan and up the Hudson River, at least several miles north of the Tappan Zee Bridge. Experts say it is very rare, but manatees, which are usually associated with the warm waters of Florida, do occasionally travel as far north as New York. One was even once sighted as far as Rhode Island. If the water is warm enough and plant life plentiful, an adventurous manatee can eat its way all the way to the Big Apple.
A Harlem resident named Antoine Yates made headlines in August 2003 when authorities found a 2 year old Bengal Tiger named Ming in his apartment. The police were alerted by Yates’s hospital call in which he claimed to have been bitten by a pit bull. The police were able to sedate Ming after repelling down the side of the building and shooting him with a tranquilizer. Yates’ apartment also contained a three-to-five-foot long alligator named ‘Al.’
In August 2011, a two year old peacock escaped from the Central Park Zoo and flew to a perch on a luxury condo building on the upper east side. The bird attracted much attention from New Yorkers as well as social media sites like Twitter with the handle of @birdonthetown. The bird returned to the Zoo on its own accord the following day.
Sludgie the minke whale was first spotted in the Gowanus Canal in April 2007 after becoming disoriented from a storm the previous week. Sludgie swam slowly south, away from the canal, but a few days later was found dead not far from the area where he originally surfaced.
In June of 2001, a large crocodile nicknamed Damon was on the loose in Central Park. A week after the croc was first spotted, alligator wrestlers from Florida were asked by the city to rescue the reptile. The croc was lifted from the water and was identified as a caiman, a species of crocodile common to Central and South American wetlands. Damon was transported to the Central Park Zoo where it was evaluated and taken into custody by the Wildlife Conservation Society.
A female Egyptian Cobra escaped from the Bronx Zoo in March 2011. The cobra, an extremely venomnous snake, instantly caught the attention of New Yorkers and became a Twitter sensation, amassing over 200,00 followers over the span of a few days. The Cobra was finally found 6 days later in another part of the Bronx Zoo.
Prospero or “the Ghost Dog of Prospect Park” got his nickname after authorities repeatedly found no evidence of an animal when responding to several reports of a feral dog loose in the park. A member of the Cane Corso breed, used by the Romans in warfare and once close to extinction, was finally caught in May 2011 and quickly became one of the most coveted dog adoptions in the city.