After nearly a week on the run, the 5-foot-long alligator causing havoc in Chicago’s Humboldt Park has finally been found, according to authorities.
“Chance the Snapper,” as the gator was affectionately named, was caught overnight, Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.
On Sunday, city officials brought in Frank Robb, an alligator expert from St. Augustine, Florida, to aid in capturing the alligator, which measured just over five feet in length, state reptile specialists said. Robb used a fishing hook to help wrangle the gator around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.
“It was just a matter of finding him,” Robb told NBC 2 during a news conference. “We needed quiet. We needed to have the place shut down for a while.”
“The second I put my hands on him, the hook fell out,” Robb added, according to the Chicago Tribune. Robb says the animal “put up a little fight” but was ultimately captured unharmed, saying the alligator “was exhausted, too, I’m sure.”
According to the city’s Animal Care and Control, the gator was likely taken to the Chicago lagoon and left there by someone who owned the reptile as a pet, the agency’s executive director, Kelley Gandurski, told CNN.
Owning an alligator is illegal in the state of Illinois.
The alligator had been spotted peeking it’s head above the water by park visitors last week, with cops confirming its presence in the Humboldt Park lagoon after a brief investigation, which had forced a partial shutdown of the West Side park. Before the gator’s capture, “Chance” was last seen early Thursday morning around 1 a.m., according to CNN.
Gandurski added that the city has about one alligator-related incident each year, despite the animal not being native to the region.
Last year, a 4-foot-long gator was removed from Lake Michigan with its mouth taped shut.