Humboldt Park Alligator.Chance the Snapper.Frank Robb Used Fishing Pole.Ashlee Rezin.Sun-Times

The Midwestern U.S. city of Chicago, which is not known as a jungle habitat, entertained itself for a week with reports of an alligator sighted in a lagoon in Humboldt Park west od downtown. To prevent public panic, the park district sent reptile experts to find and capture the interloper – but each one of them came up empty, while public interest grew and grew. The gator acquired a nickname (Chance the Zapper) and fans on social media, but the fearsome creature proved elusive. What to do? They sent for a gator wrangler, Frank Robb of Florida, where gators are a somewhat dicey feature of the landscape. He came, he listened to the people, visited the lagoon and brought a $10 fishing rod. Now even baby gators in Florida know enough not to go for bait hanging off a fishing pole, but Chance the Snapper was tired and hungry, so the question was where he was hiding. Robb surveyed the lagoon, then told the people to stand back and hold onto their loved ones. He baited his hook; he tossed out a single cast, and presto; one baby alligator scared to death of all these people. Mothers breathed sighs of relief, children ran all around the park in wild abandon, and afterward social media had to sit around hoping for a new diversion. Chance was reported in good health and will soon be headed to a zoo, where he is hoping his new lagoon will be separated from the humans by a big, sturdy chain-link fence. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times)

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