One upsmanship over alligators, perhaps?

Over the years, the owner of an apartment complex in Bernalillo, a bedroom community to Albuquerque, probably found lots of unusual things left by renters after they vacated their digs.

However, in 2010, what the owner found was especially disconcerting.

Left behind in a kiddy pool on the floor of the the living room of the apartment were two South American spectacled crocodiles — probably anxiously awaiting their next meal and happy to see a potential snack.

A South American spectacled crocodile

How the crocodiles got there and what eventually happened to them was not disclosed in anything I could find. However I have a theory about that.

Our neighbor to the south along the Rio Grande — El Paso, TX — was famous for having a group of live alligators slithering around a pond in the middle of the downtown San Jacinto square. The alligators were a popular tourist attraction from 1889 until 1965, when they were removed because they had been abused by spectators.  History is unclear about how the gators first appeared in the pond, and there were many of them who lived there over the years. The last remaining ones were relocated to the city zoo. In honor of the displaced alligator mississippiensi, a fiberglass statue was erected at the site of the original pond in San Jacinto Plaza in 1993.

Alligator statue in El Paso’s San Jacinto Plaza
Original alligator pond with live animals in El Paso’s San Jacinto Plaza, ca 1950s

Since Albuquerque has been seen as a competitor with El Paso for years, perhaps someone was surreptitiously planning to outdo the “Sun City” to the south with a display of a more ferocious type of swamp dweller.  The city’s somewhat sterile all downtown Civic Plaza might have been livened up with a pond of crocodiles. 

Okay, I know that’s a stretch, but in these days of conspiracy theories, I think it’s an entertaining one.  

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