Officials: This woman may know why alligator was found at Chicag - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Officials: This woman may know why alligator was found at Chicago's O'Hare

Posted:
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Authorities are searching for a woman who may have left a gator at an airport
  • The alligator was discovered on November 1 underneath an escalator
  • The discovery of the gator was national news earlier this month

By Lateef Mungin

(CNN) -- Take a good look at this woman.

She may be able to answer a question that's been vexing Chicago officials: Who left a tiny, little alligator at the O'Hare International Airport? And why?

The toothy reptile caused quite a stir and made headlines around the country when it was found at the airport November 1.

Security guard Tineka Walker was on patrol at Terminal 3 that day when a passenger alerted her to a gator squirreling around under an escalator.

"I looked, I said, 'What?'" Walker told CNN affiliate WBBM. "They probably realized they couldn't take it through the checkpoint, and just let him go, but, oh my God!"

Walker radioed police for backup. The creature was only about 18 inches long. An airport worker used a broom and dustpan to capture it.

The gator garnered quite a response. The incident was reported in publications from Los Angeles to Washington D.C., all asking the same question: what was a reptile doing at an airport?

The Chicago Transit Authority and police devised a plan to find out.

Transit officials said they used a photo posted on social media that showed a woman holding a small alligator on one of its train on November 1 to help jumpstart their investigation.

They scoured images from the system's 3,600 cameras and was able to track the woman's trip. At 1:17 a.m., cameras captured the woman on a train holding the alligator and showing it to passengers, transit officials say.

An hour later, the same woman was seen leaving the train at an airport station. About 30 minutes later, the woman was captured at "the turnstiles of the O'Hare rail station, this time without the reptile in view," transit officials said.

Now, transit official have a message for the woman.

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

As for the alligator, don't expect a reunion any time soon.

It was handed over to the Chicago Herpetological Society and was destined for a new life at a luxurious reptile park.

CNN's Alan Duke contributed to this report.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Jacksonville Communications Officer Killed in One Vehicle Crash

    Jacksonville Communications Officer Killed in One Vehicle Crash

    Monday, April 14 2014 11:31 PM EDT2014-04-15 03:31:53 GMT
    SMITH COUNTY (KYTX) -- DPS says a woman is dead after a crash Monday afternoon.  It happened just before 2:00 p.m. at the intersection of Mixon Road and Yarborough Lane in Smith County.  At this pointMore >>
    A Jacksonville Police communications officer has died after a crash Monday afternoon.
    More >>
  • Family remembers Fort Hood shooting victim with Illinois ties

    Family remembers Fort Hood shooting victim with Illinois ties

    Thursday, April 3 2014 10:35 PM EDT2014-04-04 02:35:25 GMT
    EFFINGHAM (WCIA)  -- One of the victims in a deadly shooting in Fort Hood went to school in central Illinois. Family members say 37-year-old Army Sergeant Tim Owens went to Southside Elementary in Effingham.  Owens'More >>
    One of the victims in a deadly shooting in Fort Hood went to school in central Illinois. Family members say 37-year-old Army Sergeant Tim Owens went to Southside Elementary in Effingham.More >>
  • Hallsville Student Finds Used Needle on School's Playground

    Hallsville Student Finds Used Needle on School's Playground

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:43 PM EDT2014-04-19 23:43:25 GMT
    HALLSVILLE (KYTX) - A situation to make any parent worry. Pamela Kelly says her 4 year old son came home from school recently with a hole in his hand. Tyler Kelly goes to Pre-K here, at the Little Cats Learning Center in Hallsville. Kelly says since coming forward with this news,she has received thanks from other parents."They have been extremely thankful. So they can be more proactivand morere on the look out." - Pamela Kelly, Tyler'Mom Thehe school made this statement to CBS 19 via email. T...More >>
    HALLSVILLE (KYTX) - A situation to make any parent worry. Pamela Kelly says her 4 year old son came home from school recently with a hole in his hand. Tyler Kelly goes to Pre-K here, at the Little Cats Learning Center in Hallsville. Kelly says since coming forward with this news,she has received thanks from other parents."They have been extremely thankful. So they can be more proactivand morere on the look out." - Pamela Kelly, Tyler'Mom Thehe school made this statement to CBS 19 via email. T...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.