An alligator has made a home in one of Chicago's most popular parks. A crowd gathered around Humboldt Park Lagoon on the city's West Side Tuesday as officials responded to a 911 call about a Facebook post showing an alligator in the area, reports the Chicago Tribune. A police spokesman was describing the report as unconfirmed around 3:30pm when an onlooker shouted, "It's there, I see the alligator!" Police have since confirmed the alligator, said to be between 4 and 5 feet long, is in the lagoon. It's unclear how it got there, though alligators have previously been spotted in the Chicago River.
One resident suggested the animal might have been an illegal pet. "This place is historical for people throwing a whole bunch of things in the lagoon," he tells the Tribune. Officials plan to capture the gator, to be evaluated at a zoo. But bait traps have so far been unsuccessful. A reptile specialist tells NBC Chicago that the gator was spotted around 2:30am Wednesday, but it was "playing submarine—when he sees someone, he dives." Swan boats weren't operating on the lagoon early Wednesday, though the nearby beach was open. Visitors, especially those with dogs or small children, are asked to be on alert. (Read more alligator stories.)