'Alligator Freakouts' Are On The Rise In Arizona

American Alligator swimming in the spring swamp

Photo: Getty Images

At Riverview Park in Mesa, Arizona, a peculiar incident has unfolded, prompting a series of 911 calls from concerned parkgoers. The cause of distress? A faux alligator strategically placed in the park's lake by Mesa parks officials. Meant to provide a perch for birds and turtles, the fake reptile proved so lifelike that it triggered a wave of alarm among visitors.

Reports reveal that on February 8, the artificial alligator, designed to assist the bird and turtle population, caught the attention of bystanders who, convinced of its authenticity, dialed emergency services. Panicked callers described sightings of the purported alligator, with one claiming it had even bitten a fishing line.

Mesa Police officials confirm receiving 911 calls, with one caller expressing concern about the presence of three live alligators. Despite assurances from city officials that the reptiles are crafted from foam and pose no threat, the confusion persists.

The fake alligators, strategically positioned in the lake to offer birds and turtles a sun-soaked sanctuary, are part of an initiative to aid the struggling turtle population in reaching the shore. Notably, the City of Mesa plans to introduce additional foam hippos to the lake in the coming weeks, continuing their efforts to support the local wildlife habitat.

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