Wednesday
July
30
2014
4:12 am
Weather

  Home
  Local News
  State / National / World
  Sports
  Opinion / Letters
  Business
  Arts / Entertainment
  Lifestyle
  Obituaries
  Calendar
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  Classifieds
  DJ Designers
  Archives
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
 
 
 
 

Check out our archive of Dining Guides - Yum!

Images show woman on Chicago train with alligator
November 14, 2013, 05:00 AM The Associated Press

CHICAGO — After tracking down a small alligator skulking in a baggage claim area at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, authorities are now hunting for its traveling companion.

The Chicago Transit Authority has released a series of images showing a woman who they believe rode to the airport on a CTA Blue Line train with the 2-foot-long gator in the early morning hours of Nov. 1.

Thanks to one of the most extensive surveillance systems in the United States, officials know this about the alligator’s trip to O’Hare: It boarded a train at the Pulaski stop — with the woman — at 1:17 a.m. The security camera captured the woman petting her little friend on her knee as she talked on her cellphone.

Blue Line rider Mark Strotman also snapped a picture of the woman and the alligator with his phone.

“She was sitting with it, petting it, letting people take pictures of it and telling everyone how she raised it from an early age,” said Strotman, 23, who initially thought the alligator might have been part of some “crazy Halloween getup” because it on the train just an hour after Halloween turned into Nov. 1.

An hour later, the woman, presumably with the alligator, disembarked the train at the airport. At 2:44 a.m., she is again recorded by the security cameras near the O’Hare stop, but with no reptilian companion.

Strotman said given how fond the the woman seemed of the alligator, he suspects that it might have gotten away from her at the airport. Besides, he told The Associated Press, “You can drop off an alligator anywhere. You don’t have to take it to O’Hare.”

An airport employee found the alligator later in the day under an escalator near a baggage claim — insert alligator-skin bag joke here. Police captured the reptile by trapping it beneath a trash can.

Not only did officials name the creature Allie, but also handed it over to people who could care for it, just in the nick of time.

“It’s not responding well to food... It hasn’t had the proper nutrition. Its growth has been stunted. It has a bent spine, soft bones, soft fingernails and a soft skull,” Jason Hood, president of the Chicago Herpetological Society, told The Associated Press. The society took custody of the alligator.

Hood said the alligator spotted on the train has the same markings as the animal captured at the airport. It was never a serious threat to the public, too small for its bite to hurt anyone, he said. It’s believed to be a 2- or 3-year-old American alligator and its gender is unknown.

Hood says the only way to determine the sex of an alligator is by an internal exam and, he notes, “you want it not to be on death’s door before you bother about that.”

As for the woman, she could be in trouble because while carrying an alligator bag may be considered stylish, carrying a live alligator is a crime. Hood said the Illinois Dangerous Animals Act makes it illegal to own an alligator in the state.

What’s more, the CTA said she could be in yet more trouble.

“Those responsible for this act can face a misdemeanor charge of cruel treatment of an animal or face a fine of $300 to $1,000 for cruelty to animals for abandoning the animal in a public place,” the authority said in a news release.

CTA spokeswoman Lambrini Lukidis said releasing the photos provides a good reminder that 3,600 cameras are keeping a close eye on the transit system.

“If a more serious crime is happening in our system,” she said, “there are ways for us to work with investigators and the police department.”

The decision to release the photos also reflects the public interest in a very unusual sighting, Lukidis said. “We’ve had deer on train platforms and roosters on buses and trains, but this is the first reptile, at least that I’m aware of.”

 

 

Tags: alligator, woman, train, airport, public, animal,


Other stories from today:

 

 
Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
 
Return To Archives
 
  


 
 
 
Daily Journal Quick Poll
 
Do you think Social Security will be solvent when you retire?

Yes, I'm already retired
Yes, I'm not there yet but it will be
No, the baby boomers will exhaust it
Not without major changes
It better be
Too heady to think about

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Report: Health premiums rose significantly in 2014
SACRAMENTO — California’s insurance commissioner released a report Tuesday showing the cost of h..
Fogging for West Nile in San Mateo Wednesday
San Mateo County mosquito officials will once again fog in San Mateo Wednesday night after more mosq..
Twenty evacuated because of gas leak in San Mateo
About 20 people were evacuated in San Mateo this morning as crews sealed a small gas line break, a P..
Lawmakers try to seal $225M aid package for Israel
WASHINGTON — Democratic and Republican members of Congress scrambled Tuesday to seal a $225 millio..
Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel on Tuesday unleashed its heaviest bombardment in a 3-week-old war a..
More >>  
 
 
  
 
  
 
©2014 San Mateo Daily Journal
Menlo Park news