The city’s animal tales are as outsized as the metropolis itself.
Whether they are tales of alligators in the sewer or the love story of Pale Male and Lola, the red-tailed hawks of Fifth Avenue that have inspired bird watchers to hold protests to defend them, when New Yorkers hear a good story about the fauna of the city, they can’t get enough.
And the really good ones become legend, iconic in the same way as Ed Koch or Sarah Jessica Parker.
Remember Ming the Bengal tiger, who lived in a Harlem public housing complex and was said to have emotional problems? Or what about Hal the coyote of Central Park, who roamed the wilds of the urban green and had the tabloid media giving chase?
Yes, there really may have even been an alligator in the sewer back in 1935 and it still entrances today.
Here are seven unforgettable animal tales, new and old, that had New York talking.