Humboldt Park

Chance the Snapper Gets a Check-up, Was ‘Well Fed,’ Vets Say

With his mouth taped, photos posted on Facebook show Chicago's infamous gator getting his eyes, feet and rear checked out

Chance the Snapper was "well fed" during his time in Chicago - and is apparently quite the ladies' man.

The infamous alligator that spent a week in the city's Humboldt Park Lagoon had a "thorough examination by the veterinarians from the University of Florida," the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park - his new home - posted on Facebook Thursday. [[513247021, C]]

"He didn’t mind at all, being surrounded by all the ladies," the post added, with photos of the gator surrounded by an all-female team of about half a dozen animal experts.

With his mouth taped, the photos show Chance getting his eyes, feet and rear checked out, with some commenters saying it looked like he was even cracking a smile. [[512786832, C]]

In response to some inquiring minds, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm said Chance "seems healthy" and was "well fed" but they were waiting for bloodwork to come back to be sure.

As for the infamous reptile's age, the farm said there's no way to tell because alligators "grow according to how much food they receive and the space they have."

The experts' best guess? Between four and six years old. [[512783432, C]]

The farm posted a video of Chance the Snapper Friday morning, gliding through the water in his new habitat Friday morning, writing "Looks like the vets didn't take too much blood yesterday. He is alert and moving around."

The famed alligator was caught last Tuesday, one week after he 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. [[512782822, C]]

The east side of the lagoon was fenced off from the public entirely last 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 that 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. last 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. [[512752792, C]]

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. He then reeled the reptile in and grabbed it at the base of its tail with his hands.

Chance the Snapper then made his public debut wearing a bow tie at a news conference hours later and was moved to his permanent, more suitable home in Florida later in the week.

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