Florida Man Nabs Humboldt Gator

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Photo by Marcos Sandoval

By Ana Gore, Elena Wilson and Geneva Gage

The alligator discovered in the Humboldt Park lagoon was caught this morning at about 1:30 a.m.

Frank Robb, owner of Crocodilian Specialist Services in Florida, caught the alligator – popularly known as “Chance the Snapper.”  

At a press conference Tuesday, Robb described it as “a very blessed experience.”

Speaking to a full complement of Chicago news reporters, Robb said he took “about eight loops around the lagoon” before he found the creature. Using traditional rod with 200-pound-test line and grappling-like fish hook, he snagged the gator and brought him close enough for his partner to grab him by the tail.

Chicago Animal Care and Control Executive Director Kelley Gandurski praised Robb for safely capturing the elusive gator, which she said was “kinda hiding in the lily pads.” 

Gandurski warned that, although Chance the Snapper was “a beautiful, beautiful alligator,” creatures like him “do not make good pets.” 

Asked by several children one hand where Chance the Snapper would be going next, Gandurski explained that “he will be either going to a zoo or a sanctuary.”

Robb and Gandurski answered questions, the alligator – a little more than five feet long, weighing between 30 and 40 pounds, according to Robb – was pulled from a plastic container and displayed for the media and other people gathered at the Humbolt Boat House. The alligator appeared calm, with his mouth tightly taped shut.

Several families crowded the area with toy alligators, alligator shirts, and alligator pins. Some appeared shocked as Robb brought the alligator out of the bin with two hands.

“I imagined something bigger,” one onlooker was heard observing. 

Ashley Deron, who came with her husband and daughter, said she had seen the story on the neighborhood watch facebook page. Her 3-year-old daughter, Iris, was holding a neon green plastic alligator. 

“We (already) had the alligator,” Deron explained of her daughter’s toy. “ But he’s kind of made a re emergence.”

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