CHICAGO — The final tab to save Humboldt Park’s beloved alligator from the murky depths of the lagoon cost the city $33,649.17, city officials revealed Wednesday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by The Daily Line.
Frank Robb, the gator trapper who caught the alligator dubbed Chance The Snapper on July 16, was paid $2,500 for the work that made him a Chicago superstar, and reimbursed for $2,166.34 in travel and lodging costs, records show.
The city spent another $6,140.48 on overtime for Animal Care and Control officers, records show.
The biggest expense was the $22,842 it cost the Department of Streets and Sanitation to install and remove the fencing and barricades around the lagoon to keep out the crowds that flocked to the park to see the celebrity reptile while Alligator Bob tried — and failed — for several days to catch him, record show.
Chance The Snapper’s trip to his forever home the St. Augustine Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, Florida, was paid for by the sanctuary, officials said.
City emails released under the FOIA request also revealed that Robb told city officials he could trap the gator in two days.
“This is not a guarantee but I am very confident in what I do,” he wrote. “I will bring my own equipment and gear and will catch the animal alive.”
He asked for the park to be shut down so he could “work in stealth.”
And he needed to carry a knife.
“Also I would like to carry a knife for my work, no harm will come to the animal, its just part of my work equipment,” he wrote.
“Lord willing after I am completed I would have no issues discussing this with the media or even showing them the animal.”
Chance was first spotted at the Humboldt Park lagoon on July 9 and quickly captivated Chicago. Hundreds flocked to the park to spot the gator, cheering during rare sightings but otherwise enjoying the sun and spending time with family and neighbors at the water’s edge.
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