Alligator's travel companion subject of hunt in Chicago
By The Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, 6:24 p.m.
CHICAGO — After tracking down a small alligator skulking in a baggage claim area in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, authorities are hunting for its traveling companion.
The Chicago Transit Authority has released a series of images showing a woman who they believe rode to the airport on a CTA Blue Line train with the 2-foot-long gator in the early morning hours of Nov. 1.
Thanks to one of the most extensive surveillance systems in the United States, officials know this about the alligator's trip to O'Hare: It boarded a train at the Pulaski stop at 1:17 a.m. A security camera captured the woman petting her little friend on her knee as she talked on a cellphone.
Blue Line rider Mark Strotman also snapped a picture of the woman and the alligator with his phone.
“She was sitting with it, petting it, letting people take pictures of it and telling everyone how she raised it from an early age,” said Strotman, 23, who initially thought the alligator might have been part of some “crazy Halloween getup” because they were on the train only an hour after Halloween turned into Nov. 1.
An hour later, the woman, presumably with the alligator, disembarked the train at the airport. At 2:44 a.m., she is again recorded by the security cameras near the O'Hare stop, but with no reptilian companion.
Strotman said that given how fond the woman seemed of the gator, he suspects that it might have gotten away from her at the airport. Besides, he said, “You can drop off an alligator anywhere. You don't have to take it to O'Hare.”
An airport employee found the gator later in the day under an escalator near a baggage claim — insert alligator-skin bag joke here. Police captured the reptile by trapping it beneath a trash can.
Not only did officials name the creature Allie, but also handed it over to people who could care for it, just in the nick of time.
“It's not responding well to food. ... It hasn't had the proper nutrition. Its growth has been stunted. It has a bent spine, soft bones, soft fingernails and a soft skull,” said Jason Hood, president of the Chicago Herpetological Society.
The society took custody of the 2- or 3-year-old American alligator of unknown gender.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Court upholds EPA emissions restrictions
- US Airways’ pornographic tweet won’t cost anyone a job
- Denver wife killed 12 minutes into 911 call, sparking inquiry
- Obama, House Republicans trade accusations in thwarting immigration reform
- Android systems running 4.1.1 softward carry Heartbleed bug
- New York Police Department commissioner disarms post-9/11 intel program
- Recovery expert believes wreckage of missing plane located
- 1986 Warhol self-portraits up for sale
- Vermont Senate OKs GMO labels as industry insists genetically modified crops are safe
- Census director defends changes, denies questions altered to inflate Obamacare success
- AC/DC not disbanding, lead singer Brian Johnson says