Hunt for Gator Temporarily Suspended

Last year around the same time another gator was spotted

By Andrew Greiner
|  Friday, Aug 6, 2010  |  Updated 1:28 PM CDT
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Second City Animal Stories

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Gator on the Loose |
Police marine units hunted for an alligator after one was reportedly sighted in the Chicago River. The gator was caught early Friday and police suspected it was someone's pet.

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Here, gator gator.

The hunt for an alligator that was reportedly spotted in the North Branch of the Chicago River Thursday has been suspended through the evening hours.

Authorities said they hope to resume the search after 10 p.m., when the gator is more likely to be active.

Someone called 911 to report saying they saw a reptile-like creature in the water at around 11:30 a.m. near 3400 Rockwell Avenue, Chicago Police News Affairs said. A viewer emailed NBC Chicago around the same to report the rumor, but hadn’t seen the creature. 

Police marine units have been in the water searching for the creature, to no avail.

Chicago Animal Care and Control Officials are taking over the investigation and members from of the Chicago Herpatological Society are assisting. Experts say its likely someone's pet.

"Rather than turn them in, they just dump them in the river thinking this is the best thing for them," said Bob, a CHS spokeman who declined to give his last name.  "The problem is now you see the headache we have to do to try and get it.  If some little fisherman tried to catch it or something, a kid could get his hand bit off very easily."

This isn’t the first time a gator has been spotted in the Chicago River. Last year around the same time, a small alligator was spotted sunning itself along the banks of the river and animal control officers managed to catch him.

It's illegal to own an alligator in Illinois.
 

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