• Later, gator: Chicago officials capture elusive 'Chance the Snapper'

    By: Bob D'Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    CHICAGO -

    The elusive "Chance the Snapper" has finally been caught.

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    Chicago authorities said early Tuesday that the alligator that captured national attention by swimming in Chicago's Humboldt Park Lagoon was captured after a weeklong search, WLS reported.

    The gator, which was estimated to be between 4 and 5 feet long, was caught around 4 a.m. in a grassy area of the lagoon, a Chicago Park District employee told WBBM-TV.

    Chicago animal control officials said the capture was “safe and humane," the Chicago Tribune reported. A news conference was scheduled for later Tuesday, and "the alligator will be in attendance," officials said in a statement.

    “The Humboldt Park alligator has captured the imaginations of the entire city of Chicago and beyond and has united residents who have been following this story for the last week,” Chicago Animal Care and Control officials said in a release. “Officials will inform residents about the plan that led to his successful capture and the next steps for him.”

    The gator was first seen July 9 by a photographer at the lagoon, WGN-TV reported. Rencie Horst-Ruiz told WMAQ she was at the lagoon around 6:30 a.m. when she saw the reptile and took photos.

    Originally, Illinois Conservation Police and Animal Care and Control responded to the scene, WMAQ reported. The search was then entrusted to "Alligator Bob," a volunteer with the Chicago Herpetological Society, the Tribune reported.

    When those efforts failed, Chicago Animal Care and Control on Sunday handed the job to alligator expert Frank Robb, who owns Crocodilian Services in St. Augustine, Florida, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

    The gator is expected to be taken to a zoo, WGN-TV reported.

    Some residents were sorry to see the reptile leave.

    “I’m sad to see him go because it was actually pretty nice to have him here,” Enoch DeJesus, a member of the Humboldt Park Fishing Society, told the Sun-Times.“It brought a lot of publicity to Humboldt Park, and people from all over came to try to see it."

    Others were glad the gator was gone.

    Good. Now we can have the park back,” one unidentified resident told the newspaper.

     

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