5-foot alligator living in Chicago lagoon

Elias Hubbard
July 11, 2019

The gator - estimated to be between 4 and 5 feet long - was first spotted at the Humboldt Park Lagoon on the city's West Side early Tuesday by visitors who spotted the reptile's head poking out of the water.

"They could be sitting right here where this little piece of wood is floating and we wouldn't even know it", said Chicago Herpetological Society's 'Alligator Bob.' "He could just suddenly sink down and that's what he's been doing".

Crowley says the animal is believed to be an American alligator.

"We saw him. He's there", Lopez said.

One woman, Lizeth Lopez, was at the lagoon when she reported seeing the alligator surface from the water. I don't know what would motivate someone to do something like that, ' he added.

It's not your average morning in Humboldt Park in Chicago today - officials are trying to trap an alligator spotted in the lagoon there.

Among the experts working with officials is "Alligator Bob" who, according to a statement from Animal Care and Control, set the traps and has been checking them periodically. Exactly when the animal would be removed is unclear, she said. It "will probably be scared and try to hide".

"If this is a pet alligator, it was probably kept in an aquarium and released" into the lagoon, Schlueter said.

Jilian Figara and her daughter went to the lagoon to rent a swan boat, but found the lagoon had been closed for weeks. A sign said people were not allowed in the water due to blue-green algae that is risky to humans and animals.

What started as a few eyebrow-raising photos turned into an intensive search as the Chicago Police Department and the city's animal control raced to find the animal.

Guglielmi said that an effort to "humanely" capture the animal would be made sometime Tuesday night.

The animal, measuring between four and five feet long, was first spotted earlier in the day.

Temperatures in Chicago on Wednesday were hovering above 30 C, the range in which alligators are most active, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"The alligator is still very shy", said Crowley, explaining it was likely once a pet and was still getting used to its new surroundings.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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