Alligator found at O'Hare extremely stressed, still not eating - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Alligator found at O'Hare extremely stressed, still not eating

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A 25-inch-long alligator was found at O'Hare International Airport Friday. (Chicago Herpetological Society) A 25-inch-long alligator was found at O'Hare International Airport Friday. (Chicago Herpetological Society)
Surveillance photo of a woman on a CTA Blue Line train holding an alligator later recovered at O'Hare. (CTA) Surveillance photo of a woman on a CTA Blue Line train holding an alligator later recovered at O'Hare. (CTA)
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

The abandoned alligator discovered at O'Hare International Airport earlier this month is still not eating and is extremely stressed, authorities said.

The alligator, which is 25 inches long, was discovered under an escalator by a maintenance worker on the lower level of Terminal Three on Nov. 1, police said.

Chicago Police contained the alligator in a trash receptacle, and the Chicago Herpetological Society took custody, police said.

The alligator was in poor health when it was found and the Herpetological Society planned to ship it to an out-of-state facility once it was rehabbed, CHS president Jason Hood said when the animal was initially discovered.

"It is very lucky to have been spotted and captured before the weather killed it," Hood said at the time.

But the alligator "is still not eating and is extremely stressed," Hood said in a statement Friday. There is no interaction with the alligator except for feeding attempts and to check its cage while the society works to get the animal "back into the best health possible."

The alligator isn't expected to be "out of its home" until the CHS spring fundraiser event, ReptileFest, at the University of Illinois at Chicago gym on April 12-13, 2014, Hood said.

An image posted on social media showed the reptile on a CTA Blue Line Train, and CTA security began investigating how the alligator got to the airport, according to a statement from the agency.

The CTA found surveillance images of a woman, who boarded a northbound Blue Line train at the Pulaski station about 1:17 a.m. Nov. 1 with the alligator in her hand, the statement said. Interior rail car cameras show the woman holding the alligator in her hand and showing it to other passengers.

About 2:17 a.m., the woman exits the train with the alligator at the O'Hare station, the statement said. By 2:44 a.m., she is again seen near the turnstiles at the O'Hare station, but without the reptile.

If caught, the woman could face a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty and a fine of $300-$1,000 for cruelty to animals or abandoning the animal in a public place.

"We hope the individual that abandoned the animal is dealt with appropriately by the authorities," Hood said. "This is a living being that was mistreated and abandoned by it's caregiver in a way that would have led to the death of the animal."

Anyone with information about the woman should contact the CTA at (888) 968-7282 or feedback@transitchicago.com.

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