Are you a fan of "Chance the Snapper," the alligator that spent a week in Chicago's Humboldt Park Lagoon? Now you can commemorate the reptile's elusive escapades with a bobblehead.
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled a "Chance the Snapper" bobblehead Thursday, featuring the creature - with both bobbling head and tail - partially submerged in water and a danger sign on its base.
The figurine will be about 7 inches long, the company said, and is available for pre-sale for $25 plus an $8 shipping fee. The production of the bobblehead comes as gator-mania continues in Chicago, even after "Chance" was captured.
The alligator was caught early Tuesday, one week after it was first seen the morning of July 9. Illinois Conservation Police and Chicago Animal Care and Control responded to the scene, bringing in a reptile specialist dubbed "Gator Bob" who placed live humane traps that night. That effort proved unsuccessful for days, at which point city officials decided to take a new approach.
The east side of the lagoon was fenced off from the public entirely on Sunday night and an expert from Florida was brought in to try his hand at the hunt.
The CACC hired Frank Robb, an alligator expert who owns Crocodilian Specialist Services in Florida. Robb was recommended by local experts in Florida, and arrived in Chicago Sunday for an examination of the area surrounding the lagoon.
Robb said those involved in the capture - which happened at around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday - had taken about eight laps around the lagoon and the surrounding area on foot overnight before he spotted the creature in the water. The alligator was about 25 feet from the shore on the north side of one of the lagoon's islands, Robb said.
After they initially spotted it, the gator went underwater for a minute and then "vocalized," according to Robb, who then snared the gator with a fishing rod that had a large hook attached to the line.
"You throw the hook across it and it just brings him in. It kind of just sits against his skin and brings him in," Robb said. "He popped back up and one cast and it was a done deal."
He then reeled the reptile in and grabbed it at the base of its tail with his hands.
"Chance the Snapper" made his public debut wearing a bow tie at a news conference Tuesday, during which city officials said it would be moved to a permanent home "in an appropriate location."
"Since Chance the Snapper is going to be heading to a new home soon, we wanted a way for everyone to be able to bring a mini Chance into their home, and a bobblehead is the perfect way to do that," National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum cofounder and CEO Phil Sklar said in a statement. "We encourage Chance’s fans to snap up a bobblehead during the presale as production is starting now and a limited number will be produced."
The Wisconsin-based company said it expected the "Chance the Snapper" bobbleheads to be ready to ship in October.