Small alligator found under escalator at O`Hare Airport - FOX 32 News Chicago

Small alligator found under escalator at O`Hare Airport

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Photo courtesy of the Chicago Herpetological Society. Photo courtesy of the Chicago Herpetological Society.
Photo courtesy of the Chicago Herpetological Society. Photo courtesy of the Chicago Herpetological Society.
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A small alligator was discovered Friday at O'Hare International Airport.

The 25-inch alligator was discovered under an escalator by a maintenance worker on the lower level of Terminal Three, police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said.

Chicago Police officers contained the alligator in a trash receptacle, and the Chicago Herpetological Society took custody of the animal, Alfaro said.

"We don't have any idea where it came from," Alfaro said.

The alligator is in poor health but an attempt will be made to rehab the animal, which then will be shipped to an out-of-state facility where alligators are on display for the public, CHS president Jason Hood said.

"It is very lucky to have been spotted and captured before the weather killed it," Hood said.

Hood also told FOX 32 News in a statement that the alligator has Metabolic Bones Disease, which causes soft bones due to improper husbandry and poor diet.

Alligators are illegal to own in Illinois without a state issued permit. As of Sunday afternoon, there was still no indication of how the animal ended up at the airport, but it's poor condition points to an owner with poor husbandry.

CHS takes in animal surrenders, no questions asked. The representative took possession of the alligator from airport security and Chicago Police.

"Any tropical reptiles released to the wilds in the Chicago area will die over winter," Hood wrote, "and the CHS would like to prevent that."

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