Are there crocodiles down the drains?

The sewers and drainage systems are some of the most unpleasant places that you could ever need to go into. It’s one of the reasons why so much fantasy and horror is set in them. They are the underworld, the domain of our waste. Only the decayed and deformed live there. This is a bit unfair to the people that have to work in them. It’s also something of a comfort to them that CCTV Drainage Surveys like that from can be sent down first to make sure what the problem is in terms of blockage or what is splitting the drain liner.

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One of the most common myths that have persisted is that there are alligators or crocodiles thriving in them. To date, no one has found one in the UK, but the legend starts in New York City. There were reports of the alligators roaming around the sewers growing to adult size. The reason this myth began is due to the true fact that over 100 alligators are rescued from people’s homes in the city almost every year. This practise is now illegal and the trade has fallen dramatically. However, there could be some basis for truth.

As the baby alligator grows it becomes unmanageable and the owner either flushes it down the toilet or it seeks refuge in the dampest and warmest place it can find, with a ready food supply of rats. It’s not the first time such a legend has come up. In the late eighteen hundreds, there was a similar tale told about wild pigs living in London sewers. They would come out and menace people on Hampstead Heath. There have been sightings in Florida, but this is due to humans destroying the natural habitat of the reptile. Another case was of a baby alligator found in Paris. It had escaped its owner and now lives, contently, in an Aquarium.

Are there any scientific facts to suggest there might be a colony of living crocodiles and alligators? It seems that New York City would be the last place for it to happen if it did. Alligators love warm climates and weather, it’s why they prefer the swampy conditions and bayous of Louisiana and Florida some 500 miles south. New York is on a longitude higher than Glasgow and Edinburgh. Temperatures can drop well below freezing. If a baby crocodile or alligator did get down into them it wouldn’t be able to survive the cold of a New York winter.

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This is where the fiction writers get hold of the story and start to have fun. Perhaps these are mutant Alligators that have grown to enormous size and decided to go crazy. Maybe they are like Leatherhead in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Jack Henry

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