Authorities at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago were surprised to find a small alligator under an escalator on Fri., Nov. 1, 2013, according to news reports on the Chicago Tribune and CBS News.
The foot-long alligator was discovered alive under an escalator at the airport Friday morning, police said. It was the first time event for the busy airport, according to CBS News.
The undersized alligator was spotted by a maintenance worker in the lower level of Terminal 3, according to a statement by Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said.
Airport maintenance workers were able to capture the alligator and contain it in a trash can. Animal Control was called and the alligator was transferred to the care of the Chicago Herpetological Society.
It was not immediately clear how the alligator arrived at the airport, but there were reports of a similar alligator on the train, so it is possible that it was transported to the airport by train and then abandoned at the airport.
Even thought the alligator is small, it could have harmed someone, so it was fortunate that the reptile was discovered and contained properly.
The Chicago Herpetological Society will keep the alligator for about six months to rebuild its health because it appears that it was not fed properly. After the alligator has been rehabilitated, they hope to release it to an alligator farm.
It is illegal to keep alligators in captivity in Illinois. Most people are not prepared for the complications of keeping a pet alligator as the cold-blooded reptile grows and becomes more dangerous with time.