Chance the Snapper

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The Humboldt Park lagoon

Chance the Snapper is a four[1] to five[2] foot long alligator that was found swimming in the Humboldt Park lagoon, in Chicago, Illinois, on the evening of July 9, 2019.[3] The animal was named after Chance the Rapper[4][5][6] in an online poll conducted by the Block Club Chicago news website,[7] beating other suggested nicknames such as Ruth Gator Ginsberg, Croc Obama, and Frank Lloyd Bite.[8][9] The alligator inspired several social media accounts,[10] and was the subject of national news coverage. Chance was captured on July 16, 2019, and found to be a male and in good health.[11]

Experts have stated that the Humboldt Park alligator was likely an illegal pet before being released into the lagoon,[12][8] and that it would not survive low temperatures in winter if it was not removed.[9] The alligator was considered to be a possible danger, and signs were put up to warn visitors.[13] After more than two days without a sighting, Chance was spotted alive at 1:30 p.m. on July 13 by a Humboldt Park resident.[14] Chance the Snapper was under the watch of Chicago Herpetological Society's "Alligator Bob", who on July 14 stated that the creature was "getting comfortable" in the lagoon and had continued to move further into the water, as well as resisting food, perhaps indicating that he had found a steady food supply.[8] On Sunday, July 14 the city hired Frank Robb, an "alligator trapping agent" and owner of Crocodilian Specialist Services in St. Augustine, Florida, to catch the gator after he was recommended by local experts there.[15][16] At Robb's suggestion, a large part of the park was closed off, to keep people away from the gator in hopes that it would feel less of a need to hide.[17] Chance the Snapper was caught by Robb early Tuesday morning, July 16, 2019.[2][18] The celebrity reptile, a male, was found to be in good health. The alligator was given over to Chicago Animal Care and Control,[9] who sent him to live at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, in St. Augustine, Florida.[19][20][21]

When Chance was captured, the Chicago Tribune reported that he was 5 feet 3 inches (1.6 meters) long and weighed about 30 or 40 pounds (14 to 18 kilograms).[2] Upon his arrival in Florida, the St. Augustine Record reported that he was 4 feet (1.2 meters) long and weighed 18 pounds (8 kilograms).[1] A veterinarian at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm estimated the alligator's age at 4 to 6 years.[21]

After he captured the alligator, Robb was honored by the Chicago Cubs by being asked to throw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field for their July 16 night game against the Cincinnati Reds. He was also asked to turn on Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park the following day.[22]

The alligator inspired the creation of merchandise such as a Chance the Snapper bobblehead figurine[23] and two locally brewed beers, Revolution Brewing's Humboldt Gator[24] and Urban Renewal Brewery's The Humble Gator.[25]


  1. ^ a b Gardner, Sheldon (July 18, 2019). "Rogue Chicago Alligator Chance the Snapper Moves to St. Augustine Alligator Farm". The St. Augustine Record. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Serrano, Alejandro; Anderson, Javonte (July 16, 2019). "'Exhausted' Alligator 'Put Up a Little Fight' but Was Caught in Chicago's Humboldt Park Lagoon". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  3. ^ Cramer, Kali (2019-07-12). "Chance the Snapper vs. Alligator Bob: The Humboldt Park Gator Chronicles". UrbanMatter. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  4. ^ McCarter, Reid (July 11, 2019). "We're pleased to introduce Chicago's very own alligator, "Chance The Snapper"". A.V. Club. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  5. ^ Wynne, Kelly (July 11, 2019). "Chicago's loose alligator nicknamed 'Chance the Snapper' after hometown musician Chance the Rapper". Newsweek. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  6. ^ July, Chance The Rapper Album in (2019-07-10). "Just landed and found out I gotta alligator". @chancetherapper. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  7. ^ Chicago, Block Club (2019-07-10). "The Final Countdown: We'll declare a winner from the final four names tomorrow morning. Get voting! See you at the Lagoon. #humboldtparkgator #GATORWATCH2K19". @BlockClubCHI. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  8. ^ a b c Bloom, Mina; Ballew, Jonathan; Hernandez, Alex V. (July 11, 2019). "As Humboldt Park Gator Watch Enters Day 3, Alligator Bob Says The Creature Is Getting Comfortable". Block Club Chicago. Retrieved 2019-07-12.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ a b c Davey, Monica (2019-07-11). "An Alligator Captivates Chicago from Deep Inside a West Side Lagoon". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  10. ^ Dampier, Cindy (July 11, 2019). "Looking for the Humboldt Gator? You can hit him up on Twitter". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  11. ^ Davey, Monica; Smith, Mitch (July 16, 2019). "'Chance the Snapper', the Alligator that Mesmerized Chicago, Is Captured". The New York Times. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  12. ^ Ballew, Jonathan (July 11, 2019). "Chicago's Alligator Search Highlights Illegal Pet Dilemma, But Experts Urge: Please Don't Just Dump Them". Block Club Chicago. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  13. ^ Hernandez, Cindy (2019-07-10). "Lagoon alligator 'safe right now' — but if trapping botched, 'he's going to be one vicious animal'". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  14. ^ Kays, Clark (2019-07-13). "Chance The Snapper Is Alive! Humboldt Park's Elusive Alligator, Quiet For 2 Days, Spotted Saturday". Block Club Chicago. Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  15. ^ "Elusive alligator Chance the Snapper search shuts down roads in Chicago around park". ABC13 Houston. 2019-07-15. Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  16. ^ "Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » City hires Florida man to trap Chance the Snapper". Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  17. ^ Serrano, Alejandro (July 15, 2019). "Half of Humboldt Park Closed as Search for Alligator Enters Second Week with New Reptile Specialist". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  18. ^ Horng, Eric; Garcia, John (July 17, 2019). "Humboldt Park alligator finally caught after a week of evading trappers". ABC7 Chicago. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  19. ^ Thompson, Sarah (July 18, 2019). "Chicago's 'Chance the Snapper' Settles In at New Home at St. Augustine Alligator Farm". WOKV. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  20. ^ "Watch Our Perfect Chunky Angel Chance the Snapper Explore His New Home in Florida". Block Club Chicago. July 19, 2019. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  21. ^ a b Biemer, John (August 7, 2019). "'That's the Alligator They Caught in Chicago.' Chance the Snapper's Reputation Grows at New Home in Florida". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  22. ^ Kim, Allen (July 17, 2019). "Florida man that captured Chance the Snapper becomes the city's newest hero". CNN. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  23. ^ "National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum Unveils 'Chance the Snapper' Bobblehead". ABC Eyewitness News. July 18, 2019. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  24. ^ Hernandez, Alex V. (July 30, 2019). "Revolution Brewing's 'Humboldt Gator' Beer Celebrating Chance the Snapper Released This Week". Block Club Chicago. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  25. ^ Muldowney, Jack (September 2019). "The Hop Reviews Vol. 40: September". The Hop Review. Retrieved September 27, 2019.