Yes, There's An Alligator In A Humboldt Park Lagoon

July 9, 2019

Authorities on Tuesday were attempting to rescue a small alligator in the Humboldt Park Lagoon after people reported seeing one.

Several witnesses said they saw the creature about 4 p.m. as it surfaced from the water. One of the onlookers pointed from the shore and said, “Look, did you see it?”

Chicago police said in a news conference that an alligator, about 4 or 5 feet long, was indeed inside the lagoon. Police said the reptile would be trapped tonight and then relocated to a zoo for veterinary evaluation.

One woman, Liz Lopez, was at the lagoon with her daughter when they reported seeing an alligator surface from the water.

“We saw him. He’s there,” Lopez said. She indicated with her hands that the creature was a few feet long.

The alligator sighting was first reported to authorities about 7:20 a.m., said Jenny Schlueter, a spokeswoman for Chicago Animal Care and Control.

An animal expert with the Chicago Herpetological Society, who goes by “Alligator Bob,” was at the lagoon Tuesday. He was shown witnesses’ photos of the purported animal, but the photos were murky and unconvincing, Schlueter said. The expert was using a canoe to monitor the perimeter of the lagoon and find the animal.

“If this is a pet alligator, it was probably kept in an aquarium and released” into the lagoon and “will probably be scared and try to hide,” Schlueter said.

Loose alligators have been captured in the Chicago area before.

In October 2018, a 4-foot-long alligator whose mouth had been taped shut was rescued from Lake Michigan near north suburban Waukegan. Authorities said the alligator wouldn’t have survived for another couple weeks.

Within one month in 2011, two alligators were found swimming in the Chicago River. One, about 3 feet long, was found near the 3200 block of North Rockwell Street. Authorities said the alligator was likely a pet that someone turned loose. A slightly smaller alligator was found weeks earlier about two blocks north.

:: courtesy WBBM Newsradio ::