Animals

Pittsburgh Gator Sightings Celebrated with New T-Shirt

The shirts go on sale today, and proceeds benefit the Pittsburgh Zoo.


Given that alligators aren't native to Western Pennsylvania, the fact that three gators have been found in the Pittsburgh area in the last two weeks has caused a stir in the city. But at least one local business is having fun with the news-- Ithen Global in Grove City, PA is printing special t-shirts.

The "Gatorsburgh: City of Chompians" shirts are available starting today at Yinzers in the Burgh in the Strip District. According to Ithen Global, the sales of the shirts benefit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

Frankie was the first gator found, in a South Side park. Photo courtesy Pittsburgh Public Safety Dept.

It all started last month, when a three-foot gator was found sunning itself in a South Side Park. He was taken to the Humane Society, where staff named him "Frankie. "

Last week, a five-foot gator named Chomp apparently broke out of his Beechview home. The gator's owner, Mark McGowan, told police and the Post-Gazette that Chomp broke through a screen. He says Chomp is harmles s, and that he takes him to reptile shows and expos around the area. Chomp was found Thursday night and also taken to the Humane Society in Homewood. Police tell the Post-Gazette they are still investigating the incident.

Chomp and his owner. Photo courtesy Mark McGowan.

Then, Saturday night the third gator was found Saturday on a front porch in the Carrick area--measuring in at 2.5 feet. So far this newest gator does not have a name. The Humane Society tells KDKA that the gators will be transferred to the Cape May Zoo in New Jersey, until they are eventually taken to Croc Encounters in Florida .

The third gator was found on a front porch in the Carrick area. Photo courtesy Pittsburgh Public Safety Dept.

Who knows if there are any other gators out there--Chris Ithen told KDKA Radio he designed the shirts with five gators, just in case any more show up. So be sure to keep your eye out for any stray reptiles!

Meanwhile, if you want to commemorate these wild few weeks of gator sightings, head down to the Strip District to grab your shirt and support the Zoo.

Feature image courtesy Ithen Global.

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