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The Pirate's Eye

The Student News Site of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South

The Pirate's Eye

The Student News Site of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South

The Pirate's Eye

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Farewell to the Piscataway Alligator

Sending love

     Two alligators were lost in New Jersey during 2023. Now, the second has settled down in Florida. 

     Last August, a rogue alligator was seen in Middlesex County, and police hunted it down for two weeks. It was captured in Piscataway on September 7 and held temporarily in Cape May Zoo. At the end of October, it was relocated for good to a Tampa alligator sanctuary, Croc Encounters. Read my farewell letter to the animal I call the “Piscataway Alligator”.


Dear Piscataway Alligator,
     Your long journey has come to an end, in a swampy Tampa sanctuary swimming with alligators, or rather, with alligators swimming. A new home. You’ve left our humble county for the greener pastures of Croc Encounters.

     We first saw you in the water, no doubt abandoned by your owner. Your owner who loved you when you were a baby, but realized you were more than they bargained for in a few years. As a teenager, I know many of our parents have felt the same way. But, because you’re an alligator, not a person, your owner showed no compassion and abandoned you in a place too cold for you to survive.

     Yes, we first saw you in the water. You were at Lake Creighton; you attacked a duck and sent the police on a naval hunt. How terrifying and exciting your appearance was, awful and wonderful. 

     Even when you’re vicious, I can’t help but find you adorable. That’s just how humans think of animals, despite that it’s dangerous to think an alligator is cute because it messes with our instincts. You can’t help your nature either: you were a horrible beast set free, and it was never your fault. 

     You were shot in Ambrose Brook, and you disappeared back into the water. That’s rough, buddy. I was wondering, did the bullet ever hit you? Did you get lucky, or are you one of the fighters, refusing to surrender to a war wound?

     Not that I fault the police officers who did it. I wanted to thank you for not eating my brother’s mother-in-law and father-in-law in Piscataway, or anyone around here for that matter, but maybe I should thank the people who captured you instead. 

     I know we made a bad impression on you here. New Jersey is, in some ways, unforgiving. The seasons are harsh, the people are chilly. But we’re honest. We don’t judge each other, because we don’t even pay attention to each other. It’s not for everyone. I hope you can come to understand what’s great about the Garden State: the beaches, the Pine Barrens, the pizza. 

     I’ve always hated Florida, but  at the same time, I’m so happy for you that you get to live there. It’s the perfect place for you—swampy, warm, and terrifying (you’ll fit right in!). Many people consider the slow pace of life in Florida relaxing, and after your year, you need some relaxation. 

     In central New Jersey, I propose we add you to the celebrity ranks of Elsie the Cow, Borden Dairy’s mascot, and the War of Worlds Martians who landed in Grover’s Mill. Looking back on 2023, let’s remember your visit. Gray nosed reptile, you’ll go down in history. 

See you later, alligator,

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