The alligator that somehow ended up in Chicago’s Humboldt Park has finally been caught.
Chance the Snapper, as he came to be known, had been on the loose in the park for almost a week – forcing a partial shutdown of the site.
Officials say they caught Chance with the help of St. Augustine, Florida, alligator expert Frank Robb. He arrived on Sunday, his first time in Chicago, and immediately went to work.
Some 36 hours later, around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, Robb used a fishing rod to hook the 5 foot 3 inch, 30 to 40 pound alligator in the tail. Then he reeled Chance in, grabbed ahold of him and tied him up.
“It was just a matter of finding him,” Robb said a news conference announcing the capture. “We needed quiet. We needed to have the place shut down for a while.”
It’s not clear at this time where the alligator will be going next.
The city’s Animal Care and Control Executive Director Kelley Gandurski said they believe the reptile was brought to the lagoon by someone who owned it. It’s illegal in Illinois to own an alligator.
Gandurski said the city deals with about one alligator-related incident every year, but it’s rare to have to deal with them in the wild.
All of Humboldt Park is now open following Chance’s capture.