NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— A year later and Uptown neighbors are still left with an unsolved mystery. How did the mysterious alligator that became known as the “Dumpster Gator” end up in a Demo Diva dumpster after Hurricane Ida?

After Ida, there were downed fences, damaged roofs and piled up trash bags, but a dead alligator in a dumpster is what really sent shock waves through the Uptown neighborhood at Perrier and Upperline streets.

Uptown resident Naomi Gadinski was one of the first to spot the creature in early September 2021.

“I woke up and it was business as usual, then my husband said there was a big dead alligator in the dumpster across the street,” Gadinski told WGNO’s Kenny Lopez.

Gadinski and other neighbors wondered how it ended up there? Was he wandering the streets and someone shot and killed him? Has anyone had it from fishing and then thrown it in the dumpster?

“It’s usually an alligator-free zone, so that’s pretty rough,” she added.

Demo Diva rented out the dumpster and Demo Diva owner Simone Bruni said they didn’t know about the alligator, but the alligator will be taken to the landfill with all the other trash and debris from Hurricane Ida. Bruni even placed a flower on the alligator to show his respect for the alligator.

What happened next is something no one could have predicted – the “Dumpster Gator” became a social media and viral sensation. Popular gift shop Fleurty Girl has started selling Dumpster Gator stickers. Several people in the community painted gator art, and a local woman even got a “Dumpster Gator” tattoo. This past Mardi Gras and Halloween people dressed up as “Dumpster Gator” and Mardi Gras the floats were decorated with the image of the alligator.

Still, neighbors wonder how it got there in the first place? A year later, no answers, but at least the neighbors have a story that isn’t fiction, but a strange truth.

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