You may have heard of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles living in the sewers and eating pizza, but how realistic is it? Okay, so teenagers can’t turn into turtles, and turtles don’t eat pizza, but can turtles live in sewers? What other creatures might be lurking down below that could potentially visit you through your bathroom drain? Can animals actually live in sewer pipes?

The Usual Suspects: Small Critters

The most likely visitors to your sewer pipes will be small critters like frogs and even squirrels and snakes. Though not common, it’s not unheard of for one of these creatures to pop up in your toilet on its way to find the exit. You may also see a spider or insect appear in your kitchen sink. These kinds of stories are never fun, but they do happen on occasion. The best way to keep these critters out of your sewer pipes is to seal up any cracks outside and cover the end of your pipe and seal it with wire mesh. This should keep harmful critters like rats or squirrels away.

The Unusual Suspects: The Stuff of Once-In-A-Blue-Moon News Articles and Legends

Snapping Turtles

Incredibly, back in the 1980s, three snapping turtles were actually found in a New York sewage treatment plant. Apparently, they were able to get into the sewers during periods of heavy rain when river floodgates are open. Luckily, this does not seem to be a common occurrence. (And there were no signs of pizza with the turtles!) The turtles were handed over to a conservation group that released them in a more appropriate habitat.


Since 1907, reports of alligators in the New York sewer systems have created a legend that continues to last, even inspiring characters in pop culture. The idea is that gators were bought as pets and then flushed down the toilet when they got too big, subsequently feeding on contaminated rats and becoming mutant alligator monsters. While mutant alligators are definitely not a thing, there have been alligators spotted and rescued a number of times over the decades in various New York City water spots. These alligators were all likely pets that were abandoned.


Okay, so not really. Except for that one time in 2008 when three teens were found lost in the New York sewers. Thankfully, they were rescued unharmed!

The Truth About Animals In Your Sewer Pipes

The likelihood is that you don’t have anything more sinister than some insects and spiders down there, if you have anything at all. If a larger creature did find its way into your pipes, you would know almost right away as you would hear its scratching and skittering noises. If you suspect you have an animal in your sewer pipes, call a professional right away. Small animals can actually damage your pipes aside from causing backups and general alarm. At A&L Cesspool, our professionals are dedicated to keeping your sewer pipes healthy and creature-free!