An alligator that was caught crossing a New York City street during rush hour has died unexpectedly.

A spokesman for Animal Care and Control of NYC says the 3-foot alligator died Friday morning.

Police officers had discovered the creature crossing Ninth Avenue in Manhattan's Inwood neighborhood Thursday evening.

The spokesman said authorities have not yet identified the alligator's cause of death.

Exotic animals, including alligators, are illegal to have as pets in New York City.