Before he got his name, Albert was simply known to Haeffner as the smallest of four alligators he was tasked to look after. Then, came the great gator escape of June 17.
“I came in [to work] and there were only three alligators,” Haeffner said. “So, I rushed and made a phone call up to the administration building and the curator at the time came down and mobilized a bunch of other zoo keepers and we went on a search.”
Turns out, the young alligator had scaled a four-foot fence and wandered to the water between the Denver Zoo and City Park. That’s where another keeper spotted something out of place in Duck Lake.
“He saw the eyes and the snout of the missing alligator,” Haeffner said.
Word got out that the alligator had gotten out. 9NEWS jumped on the story and started broadcasting from the lake day after day after day.
“Deep in the heart of the City Park jungle, lurks the slivering serpent,” a news story from June 23 begins. The reporter went on to interview a deer at the zoo asking him, ‘excuse me, have you seen the alligator?’”