Alligator found in Chicago park lagoon: 'State reptile specialists say it's between 4 and 5 feet long'

Victoria Gagliardo-Silver

An alligator has taken up residence in a lagoon in a popular Chicago park.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Tuesday that investigators went to Humboldt Park Lagoon following reported sightings on social media.

Authorities went to the park and confirmed the alligator's presence. Officials did not say how the creature got there.

Mr Guglielmi wrote on Twitter: “We've independently confirmed the alligator is in the lagoon and state reptile specialists say it's between 4 and 5 feet long. The reptile will be humanely trapped tonight and relocated to a zoo for veterinary evaluation.”

Alligators are generally known to live in warmer climates, like Florida.

However, the reptiles can survive in colder temperatures due to a process similar to hibernation.

City officials have had alligator traps placed into the park’s lagoon in an attempt to safely capture and relocate the lost animal - which is between four and five feet long.

A local expert known as Alligator Bob told the Sun Times: "It's not big enough to look at humans as food ... It's not like the movies where they attack you and drag the lady into the pond and stuff."

He continued: "I just want the animal to survive. I'm tired of seeing the things getting killed."

Social media users have come to the defence of the lost reptile, tweeting at the spokesperson that the “alligator did nothing wrong” and to “let the alligator stay”.

At least one parody account, @HumboltGator, has popped up on Twitter. The account replied to Mr Guglielmi’s tweet: “Let me live Tony.”