Security guard Tineka Walker was on patrol at Terminal 3 at Chicago’s O’Hare airport when a traveler alerted her to a suspicious object under an escalator, CNN reports. It was found to be 1-foot-long alligator that somehow managed to waddle its way into the terminal. “I looked, I said, ‘What?’” Walker told CNN. She then called in for help, and when Chicago Police Officer Anthony Oliver came to the rescue, he “figured somebody was messing with us,” he told CNN.
The Huffington Post reports that Chicago police spokesman Jose Estrada said of Friday's incident, “We don’t know where it came from or how long it has been residing in the airport facilities.” The alligator was eventually captured and handed over to the Chicago Herpetological Society.
CNN notes that a Twitter post on Friday showed a man holding what appeared to be the same alligator at O’Hare. CNN goes on to say the man holding the reptile had a tattoo on his arm that could eventually help police determine his identity.
Jason Hood, the Chicago Herpetological Society’s president, told The Huffington Post the alligator was in “pretty bad shape.” The organization is now trying to get the alligator back in good health and find a permanent home for it.
The Chicago Tribune reports the alligator, who's been dubbed Allie, normally lives in temperatures of 85 to 90 degrees, can grow up to four feet long and has a life expectancy similar to humans'. Allie, however, is very small for her age, most likely from not being properly fed. Hood says that after getting Allie back in good health the society will find a home for her in another state, more hospitable for raising alligators.
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