Officials have recovered an alligator from a Chicago airport on Friday, prompting a media frenzy.
Had the alligator come near a passenger or a child, it would have put them in danger. It was most likely transported by train to the airport.
According to CBS Chicago, the beast was wandering around Terminal 3 at O'Hare International Airport, without its owner.
It was spotted by passengers, who alerted guards. The airport contracts the Universal Security company.
“I was out there, and a passenger had pointed out that there was an alligator up under here. I looked, I said, ‘What?’” Tineka Walker of Universal remembers.
A photo has emerged on Twitter, showing someone transport a similar alligator by train, in Chicago. The photo was posted on Friday.
“They probably realized they couldn’t take it through check point, and just let him go, but oh my God,” Walker comments.
It was recovered near the Baggage Claim 3 point, NBC added. Police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro tells ABC News that nobody has been injured.
“Figured somebody was messing with us,” Chicago Police Officer Anthony Oliver says.
The baby alligator measures about 25 inches (64 cm) from head to tail. Jason Hood, president of the Chicago Herpetological Society, describes that its health has been affected by “improper husbandry and poor diet.”
“What if a little kid grabbed this, thinking it was a toy? That could do a nasty job,” he says.
The state of Illinois outlaws having a gator as a pet. The owner would need a special permit from the Department of Natural Resources, and this animal has not been registered.
The gator was captured in a garbage can by Department of Aviation workers and it was turned over to Chicago Herpetological Society.
They used a broom and a dustpan to sweep it inside the bin. It is currently in the care of the Illinois animal control department.