Gator looking for gate? Alligator found in Chicago's O'Hare airport

This foot-long alligator was found Friday roaming around Terminal 3 in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. CBS Chicago

CHICAGO A small alligator found under an escalator at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has left authorities puzzled.

A maintenance worker discovered the alligator, which is about a foot long, on Friday in Terminal 3, Chicago Police spokesman Jose Estrada said Sunday.

An officer captured the reptile by putting a trash can over it.

"We don't know where it came from or how long it'd been residing in the airport facilities," Estrada said. "It's one of those random incidents."

"I was out there, and a passenger had pointed out that there was an alligator up under here," Tineka Walker of Universal Security told CBS Chicago. "I looked, I said, 'What?'"

The gator is now being cared for by the Chicago Herpetological Society.

"It was in pretty bad shape," said Jason Hood, the group's president. "We're trying to get it healthy and find a place for it."

He said the gator would likely head to an out-of-state alligator farm once authorities give the organization the all-clear to release the animal.

No one was injured. An official with the Chicago Herpetological Society told CBS Chicago that that was very fortunate.

"What if a little kid grabbed this, thinking it was a toy? That could do a nasty job," he said.


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