Alligator found, trapped in O'Hare Airport - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Alligator found, trapped in O'Hare Airport

Posted: Updated:

(CNN) -- Carrying an alligator bag on an airline flight is fine, but live alligators are banned from boarding. That might explain why a toothy reptile was slithering around Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Friday.

Security guard Tineka Walker was on patrol at Terminal 3 when a passenger alerted her to the suspicious object under an escalator.

"I looked, I said, 'What?'" Walker told CNN affiliate WBBM-TV.

When Walker radioed for help, Chicago Police Officer Anthony Oliver thought at first it was a crock. "Figured somebody was messing with us," Oliver told WBBM.

No need to call Tarzan to wrestle the gator, which was only about 18 inches long. An airport worker used a broom and dustpan to capture it. Animal control picked it up from police and handed it over to the Chicago Herpetological Society.

"What if a little kid grabbed this, thinking it was a toy? That could do a nasty job," said Bob Bavirsha, a reptile rescuer with the group.

A major clue to how it ended up at the airport emerged on Twitter on Friday when someone posted photos of a man holding what appeared to be the same alligator.

"The patterns on an alligator are as unique as your fingerprints," Bavirsha said. "We can actually match this band right here with that band right there."

The man holding the alligator in the tweeted photos also had unusual markings -- a tattoo on his arm that could help investigators identify him.

The Twitter posting said the man was riding the Blue Line train, which goes to O'Hare.

"They probably realized they couldn't take it through checkpoint, and just let him go, but, oh my God!" Walker said.

The alligator will eventually find a new life in a reptile park -- after getting a few months of treatment for stunted growth, apparently from not being properly fed.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Tyler Police investigate aggravated robbery

    Tyler Police investigate aggravated robbery

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:34 AM EDT2014-04-24 12:34:59 GMT
    Tyler Police are looking for the people responsible for robbing a man early Thursday morning. It happened around 12:30 am in the in the 1100 block of N. Albertson. More >>
    Tyler Police are looking for the people responsible for robbing a man early Thursday morning. It happened around 12:30 am in the in the 1100 block of N. Albertson. More >>
  • Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Monday, April 21 2014 5:53 PM EDT2014-04-21 21:53:35 GMT
    Tyler Police need your help finding an early morning robbery suspect. A woman says a robber tackled her to the ground and stole her purse. More >>
    Tyler Police need your help finding an early morning robbery suspect. A woman says a robber tackled her to the ground and stole her purse. More >>
  • Cherokee County woman found dead in driveway, husband charged with murder

    Cherokee County woman found dead in driveway, husband charged with murder

    Monday, April 21 2014 5:31 PM EDT2014-04-21 21:31:33 GMT
    Cedric Dewayne ThompsonCedric Dewayne Thompson
    CHEROKEE CO. (KYTX) - On Sunday April 20, 2014 at approximately 9:35am Kayla Nicole Thompson (27 years of age) was found deceased in the driveway of her residence, located in the 1500 block of County Road 3201 just West of Lake Jacksonville.More >>
    CHEROKEE CO. (KYTX) - On Sunday April 20, 2014 at approximately 9:35am Kayla Nicole Thompson (27 years of age) was found deceased in the driveway of her residence, located in the 1500 block of County Road 3201 just West of Lake Jacksonville.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2004 - 2014, WorldNow and KYTX, Owned and Operated by London Broadcasting Company.
All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.