Police: Woman left alligator at Chicago airport terminal

USA TODAY - Chicago Transit Authority officials are asking for the public's help in identifying a woman who they say left an alligator at O'Hare International Airport.

Earlier this month, travelers may have had a unique encounter with the reptile.

The 2-foot-long alligator was found hiding under an escalator in the lower level of a terminal, according to CTA officials. The reptile was then taken to the Chicago Herpetological Society.

Working with Chicago Police, CTA security officials found a picture posted to a social media website of a woman carrying the reptile as she boarded a CTA Blue Line train.

An investigation into the incident revealed the woman was boarding a northbound Blue Line train at the Pulaski station around 1:15 a.m. on Nov. 1. Interior rail car cameras showed the woman holding the alligator in her hands and showing it to other passengers during her trip. Around 2:15 a.m., the woman left the train with the alligator at the O'Hare Blue Line terminal, according to the CTA.

By 2:44 a.m., she was spotted near the turnstiles of the O'Hare rail station- with no alligator, the CTA added.

Police say the woman or others responsible for leaving the alligator could face a misdemeanor charge of cruel treatment of an animal or face a fine of $300 to $1,000 for cruelty to animals for abandoning the animal in a public place.

Anyone with information should contact CTA's Customer Service 1-888-YOUR-CTA (1-888-968-7282).


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