Humboldt Park Alligator 'Chance the Snapper' Captured by Florida Trapper

Frank Robb of St. Augustine, Florida captured the alligator early Tuesday morning.  (AP Photo / Amr Alfiky)

Frank Robb of St. Augustine, Florida captured the alligator early Tuesday morning. (AP Photo / Amr Alfiky)

The alligator first spotted July 9th in the Humboldt Park lagoon was captured early July 16th.

The five-foot-three-inch alligator, who was identified as a male, weighed in at around 30 or 40 pounds.

‘Chance the Snapper’, nicknamed after Chicago’s own Chance the Rapper, was caught by expert trapper Frank Robb of Crocodilian Specialist Services out of St. Augustine, Florida around 1:30 a.m. yesterday on the northwest side of the lagoon, according to officials.

Robb was brought in after local volunteers failed to trap the animal.

“Everybody’s got different blessings, this is mine," he said. "This is what I’ve spent every day of my life doing for the last 24 years.”

Animal control officials closed the eastern half of Humboldt Park on the advice of the 24-year-veteran of gator hunting, since, as Robb pointed out, the noise created by people in close proximity might be causing Chance to hide.

“I brought my fishing rod and it went down pretty fast,” Robb said of the capture.

After 36 hours of hunting, Robb said he “saw his eye shine and caught him on the fishing rod. One cast... and it was done.”

The alligator looked relatively docile at the news conference, although Chance “put up a little fight” during his capture, according to Robb.

Robb said the alligator “was exhausted, too, I’m sure," but was otherwise unharmed and in good health.

“Wherever he came from or however he got here, he’s a very healthy animal,” he added.

Chance will remain with Chicago Animal Care and Control pending his relocation.

“No harm will come to this alligator,” said Kelley Gandurski, the executive director of Chicago Animal Care and Control.

This isn’t the first alligator to be found in or around Chicago. Last year, a kayaker found an abandoned alligator near Waukegan; in 2010 Alligator Bob aided in the capture of an alligator in the North Branch of the Chicago River; another alligator was captured in the South Branch of the river in 2008; in 1953 two boys from Wheeling reportedly found an alligator in the Des Plaines River; and as far back as 1902, an article in the Chicago Tribune claimed that a two-and-a-half-foot alligator was captured after an iron worker wrestled it out of the Chicago River.

The source of these alligators remains a mystery, although many speculate that they were exotic pets dumped by their owners.

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