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12 Surprising Animals That Are Hanging Out In New York

Ya never know who you’ll find in your backyard! The Bronx Zoo is celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Wildlife Conservation Society with their 120 Ways #NYIsWild contest — you just might win a trip to Belize!

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1. Coyote

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Recently, a lone coyote was spotted on the roof of a Long Island City bar. Can you blame him for wanting to check out the ~scene~? LIC is very hip!

2. Snapping Turtle

Let's give the snapping turtle a round of applause because they're New York's official state reptile. That's right! These little fellows can grow to be 40 years old and, living up to their name, pack a ferocious bite! If you ever see one, please, for everyone's safety, *do not* place your fingers anywhere near their mouth.
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Let's give the snapping turtle a round of applause because they're New York's official state reptile. That's right! These little fellows can grow to be 40 years old and, living up to their name, pack a ferocious bite! If you ever see one, please, for everyone's safety, *do not* place your fingers anywhere near their mouth.

3. Beaver

In case you didn't know, the official mammal of New York state is the beaver. There's even a special, little critter named José, who's been living in the Bronx River since 2006 — pretty dam cool.
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In case you didn't know, the official mammal of New York state is the beaver. There's even a special, little critter named José, who's been living in the Bronx River since 2006 — pretty dam cool.

4. Bald Eagle

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Once endangered, the bald eagle status has been downgraded to "threatened." There were 173 breeding pairs, which hatched 244 babies in 2010! Three majestic birds were even spotted in Hempstead Lake State Park in 2013. Woohoo! #Murica

5. Right Whale

Also endangered, right whales are seldom seen. Which means there was definitely nothing wrong about last year's sighting in Greenport, Long Island.
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Also endangered, right whales are seldom seen. Which means there was definitely nothing wrong about last year's sighting in Greenport, Long Island.

6. Alligators

There have been alligator sightings in New York since the 1930s, and they're not just in our sewers or the lake in Central Park. In 2010, a baby alligator was found trying to take up a parking spot in Queens. Word on the street is that he followed the rules for alternate side parking.
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There have been alligator sightings in New York since the 1930s, and they're not just in our sewers or the lake in Central Park. In 2010, a baby alligator was found trying to take up a parking spot in Queens. Word on the street is that he followed the rules for alternate side parking.

7. Wild Turkey

Not only is there a flock of turkeys roaming around Teddy Roosevelt's Sagamore Hill, but they've also been spotted in the city. Zelda the Turkey was super famous and roamed around Battery Park for nearly 11 years!
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Not only is there a flock of turkeys roaming around Teddy Roosevelt's Sagamore Hill, but they've also been spotted in the city. Zelda the Turkey was super famous and roamed around Battery Park for nearly 11 years!

8. Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

You probably think "tropical" when you hear the words "sea turtle," but that's totally not the case. The waters off Long Island are full of tasty sea creatures like shrimp, lobsters, and crabs for Kemp's Ridleys to feast on.
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You probably think "tropical" when you hear the words "sea turtle," but that's totally not the case. The waters off Long Island are full of tasty sea creatures like shrimp, lobsters, and crabs for Kemp's Ridleys to feast on.

9. Sperm Whale

It might sound hard to believe, but sperm whales (ya know, just like Moby-Dick) have been found in waters off of New York. They usually travel in packs of one adult male, multiple females, and their babies!
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It might sound hard to believe, but sperm whales (ya know, just like Moby-Dick) have been found in waters off of New York. They usually travel in packs of one adult male, multiple females, and their babies!

10. The Hawks of Washington Square Park

The hawks of Washington Square park are so cool, they have a whole website dedicated to them. And why shouldn't they? They're super fly.
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The hawks of Washington Square park are so cool, they have a whole website dedicated to them. And why shouldn't they? They're super fly.

11. Monitor Lizard

Not a native New Yorker, a very scaly specimen was found living under a sidewalk in Brooklyn in 2013. No one actually knows how he could afford the rent.
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Not a native New Yorker, a very scaly specimen was found living under a sidewalk in Brooklyn in 2013. No one actually knows how he could afford the rent.

12. Humpback Whale

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This past December, folks off the waters of Queens got a BIG surprise! At least 19 different whales were spotted 87 different times, proving that New York City isn't just a concrete jungle!

Take a walk on the wild side by entering the 120 Ways #NYIsWild contest.

Whenever you visit a WCS park — such as the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, or the New York Aquarium — make sure to tag your Instagram pics with the hashtag "#NYIsWild" for the chance to win some awesome prizes!