An unwitting wild animal wandering into New York tends to whip up a remarkable amount of media frenzy. Who could forget the escaped cobra from the Bronx Zoo, who was caught in 2011 but still has almost 200,000 Twitter followers, or the momma hawk and her brood, perched on the ledge of NYU’s library, who enjoy their own annual live stream on the New York Times website?
Not all wildlife fameballs are created equal, though. Some are just more charismatic. At least according to MGMT., a Brooklyn design studio who took it upon themselves to create a portrait guide to the most notable animals who’ve wandered into the city. There’s Tappie, the 1,000-pound manatee that swam up the Hudson to the Tappan Zee Bridge, as well as the two-year-old peacock that escaped from the Central Park Zoo and alighted on a nearby luxury condo building. According to the designers, Tappie has “evaded capture and is believed to have escaped to Florida.”
Not all the stories end so well. It turns out that the doomed Gowanus Canal dolphin that inspired this woeful soliloquy on Gawker a few weeks back wasn’t the first victim of the Superfund site. Sludgie, a minke whale that wandered into the canal in 2007, also died there.
The full portraits, in PDF form, are available here.