'Alligator' lurking in the water at Mesa park catches visitors' attention

It's not the real thing, of course, but a Mesa park has been grabbing a lot of attention recently for what appeared to be an alligator lurking below the water.

As mentioned earlier, the ‘alligator’ is not real. It is made of foam and is anchored. Mesa's Parks Department sank its teeth into creating a spot for turtles to sun themselves at Riverview Park, but the ducks appear to like the spot as well.

Alligators no stranger to Mesa in the past

We did a little digging and found that real alligators used to be a thing in Mesa: during the 50s and 60s, a gator farm sat near Main Street and Lindsey, and when the farmer had wrestled one too many gators, he left the rest to fend for themselves.

"It took weeks for the Arizona Humane Society and local police to round them all up," said Shannon Maki with the Mesa Historical Museum. "It had always been rumored, but some of these alligators ended up in some of the local lakes, which is why I think that this big alligator showing up has picked so much interest."

Being fake, the alligator at Riverview Park can't bite, and it even has a bigger buddy living nearby: a foam crocodile that makes friends with birds out there. Park visitors think this is all pretty awesome..

"Somebody posted it, and they said that it was right here at the lake, so we pulled up, and we’re kinda just like wondering, like, what is it, you know," said one person.

There were two hippos in the pond as well, but they broke free from their chains.