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The Mystery of the Alligators in Rock Creek Park: A 1916 Washington Times Article

Learn about the mysterious alligators that appeared in Rock Creek Park in 1916 according to an article from The Washington Times. Plus, don't forget to read about the alligators in the basement of the Commerce Department.
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two alligators ... they are scary
two alligators … they are scary

This is something that would scare the crap out of you. Just imagine walking along a path next to Rock Creek Park, only to stumble upon an 700-pound alligator. #OMFG … Absolutely terrifying, and God forbid you’re walking your dog.

This is an article we came across in The Washington Times from August 3rd, 1916.

“Bessie” is the name that keepers at the Zoo have bestowed upon the alligator found in Rock Creek, July 13, and captured by them. She is now in the collection in the lion house, but how she got into Rock Creek or whence she came, is as much of a mystery as ever.

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The keepers at the Zoo and various gentlemen who say they are from Florida and know all about alligators have conferred on the visitation. Various clues have been advanced and abandoned, including one that the alligators had escaped from a nearby “prep” school. The school says it hasn’t lost any of its “pets.”

“Bessie,” the alligator that survives, following the shooting of her mate, is getting along swimmingly in a pool at the Zoo. She seems fairly contented, while the public continues to speculate how two gators happened in Rock Creek, which is far from being the slovenly Southern stream in which the reptiles usually are found.

From the photo of “Bessie,” who was captured at the creek on July 13 by Head Keeper Blackburn and his assistants, it will be seen that these alligators are of a size sufficient to masticate with gusto a rather large bite from a person’s anatomy.

The other saurian was shot on Sunday, July 23, by Sergeant J. J. Kramer, so it is not now in the Zoo.

If other gaitors [sic] are at large, as is likely, if the surmise of the Zoo keepers is correct, there may be some excitement at the creek if girls go in wading.

Thankfully, everything will be fine if boys go wading into the water though.

Also, don’t forget to read about the alligators in the basement of the Commerce Department. Seriously … another alligator story!

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