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Florida zoo makes home for rogue Chicago alligator

By
Sommer Brokaw
The St. Augustine Alligator Farm has taken in Chance the Snapper, a rogue gator captured in Humboldt Park lagoon a Chicago. Photo courtesy St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park
The St. Augustine Alligator Farm has taken in Chance the Snapper, a rogue gator captured in Humboldt Park lagoon a Chicago. Photo courtesy St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park

July 20 (UPI) -- A Florida zoo has made a new home for an alligator that eluded capture for days in a Chicago lagoon.

The 4-foot, 18-pound male alligator, Chance the Snapper, which was captured Tuesday in Chicago's Humboldt Park lagoon by Frank Robb, a professional alligator trapper summoned from Florida, has gained attention through photos online.

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The Saint Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park recommended the now-famous gator trapper for the job of capturing Chance the Snapper.

On Friday, the zoo updated its Facebook Page with Chance the Snapper as its cover photo.

The zoo posted on Facebook that it was doing everything it could to make the gator "feel at home," including displaying a "Chance the Snapper" welcome banner, "playing Chicago music" and getting him pizza.

Chance was brought to the zoo by plane and staged for release Thursday when a staffer removed the tape that held his jaws together and released him into a pond after he was measured.

"It's good for the alligator, and it's good for us," said park owner David Drysdale.

Chance will have to stay in the enclosure for at least 90 days to make sure he's free of disease and won't hurt other alligators before joining the general alligator population, park Director John Brueggen said.

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Brueggen said that even though "farm" is in the zoo's name, the animals in the park are protected.

"Even though we're called a farm, we've never actually been a farm," he said. "So, we're not going to make belts and wallets our of any other guys, much less Chance the Snapper."

Brueggen added that Chance the Snapper was probably connected to someone who didn't keep him securely or released him, but he would not have survived the Chicago winter.

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