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Alligator Spotted Second Day In Chicago Park Lagoon

The search continued Wednesday for an elusive alligator living in the Humboldt Park Lagoon.

SHARE Alligator Spotted Second Day In Chicago Park Lagoon
Daniel Bayhena, alligator watcher

Daniel Bayhena wore his Florida Gators T-shirt to the Humboldt Park Lagoon Wednesday morning as the search continued for an alligator spotted in the water the day before.

Marley Arechiga, WBEZ

Officials from Animal Control and the Chicago Herpetological Society confirmed another sighting of an alligator in the Humboldt Park Lagoon Wednesday morning.

The 4- to 5-foot reptile was first spotted Tuesday, and traps were set out near the park’s boathouse in an effort to catch it.

The latest sighting about mid-morning Wednesday was confirmed by a man from the Herpetological Society who goes by the name Bob, but who many refer to as Alligator Bob.

He said the gator had also been spotted overnight.

“His sighting has been very sporadic. It’s been about every four to five hours,” Bob said.

News of the gator has brought a media horde and spectators to the park hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive reptile.

One of them Wednesday morning was lifelong Humboldt Park resident Daniel Bayhena, 23, who donned an orange University of Florida Gators shirt for the occasion.

Bayhena showed up at the lagoon with his digital camera and tripod hoping to snap a shot.

“It’s very exciting, at the same time crazy! We never seen nothing like this before here in Humboldt Park,” he said.

Bob said the alligator was likely dumped in the lagoon by someone who owned it as a pet and could no longer take care of it. He said gators can live 60 to 80 years.

“When your child turns 21 years old, you can legally throw him out the door,” Bob said. “When your gator turns 21 years old, you still got 40 years ahead of you.”

Officials hope the animal will swim into one of the traps so it can be safely removed and taken to a zoo for evaluation.

Alligators favor warm weather climates such as Florida but have been known to survive temporarily in the cold through a process similar to hibernation.

Marley Arechiga is a news intern for WBEZ. Follow her @marleyarechiga.

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