© 2021 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
News Partners

Chance The Snapper, The Elusive Chicago Alligator, Has Finally Been Captured

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

As the climate changes, certain plants and animals are ranging farther south or farther north. We do not know if that is precisely why an alligator, a reptile well-known in the southern United States, turned up in Chicago's Humboldt Park lagoon.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Chance the Snapper was the name given to the alligator after a contest on social media. A week-long chase for him was first led by a volunteer nicknamed Alligator Bob.

INSKEEP: Of course.

KING: But eventually city officials brought in Frank Robb, who is an alligator expert from Florida. He captured Chance with his fishing pole.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

FRANK ROBB: Once we were able to see him, was one cast and done.

INSKEEP: Sure, simple - 5-foot-3 alligator, what could go wrong? The alligator, he says, did put up a little bit of a fight.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ROBB: People ask you how you catch an alligator. Just barely is the answer because it's usually just barely.

INSKEEP: Robb says this is the first alligator he has caught outside of Florida.

KING: And Chance sent Chicago into a frenzy. One guy tried to lure the gator with a rotisserie chicken.

INSKEEP: (Laughter).

KING: A police officer blared the "Jaws" theme song from his cruiser.

INSKEEP: (Singing) Ba-duh, duh (ph). People made alligator T-shirts and tote bags. And musicians even recorded a song about it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EL COCODRILO DE HUMBOLDT PARK")

YENDRYS CESPEDES: (Singing in Spanish).

INSKEEP: They are singing that the gator in the park does not have teeth.

KING: After he was captured, Chance the Snapper appeared at a press conference wearing a plaid bow tie. We don't know who did that to him. But Chance has been given a clean bill of health. And according to Chicago Animal Care and Control, he'll be transferred to an animal sanctuary.

INSKEEP: Whew. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.