Origins: A recent news article about the Internet rumors
Although no hordes of alligators (mutant or otherwise) dwell within the bowels of the New York City sewer system, reports of saurians found in municipal waterways have been common newspaper fodder for over a century. Some of these accounts have been more fiction than fact, but a surprising number of abandoned, escaped, or otherwise misplaced gators
Officials think the American alligator, one of the strongest and most aggressive breeds, could have been a transplant or even a dumped pet. It was captured by volunteers from the Chicago Herpetological Society and will be sent to its native area of the
But until Friday, nobody had seen what Bill Cox and his
An honest-to-goodness alligator in the Chicago River.
James Burke Captures Lively Saurian in Water at Twelfth Street After Taking Involuntary Plunge
"Look out for alligators" is the warning which fond parents soon may be giving their small boys when they go swimming in the Chicago river.
An alligator two and one-half feet in length was captured in the river at the Twelfth street bridge yesterday, after Policeman Daniel McCarthy had fired four shots at it from his revolver and James Burke, a bridge iron worker, had fallen into the river in his endeavors to capture the animal.
Shortly after noon Burke and McCarthy were crossing the river to get shelter in a small shanty at the east side of the stream.
"What's the matter with me?" almost shouted Burke.
"What are you talking about?" began McCarthy at the same time, seeing the alligator swimming about in the river. "I've got them, too."
The two men watched the animal swimming about for a moment, and both agreed that it must be the "real thing." McCarthy drew his revolver and tried four times to hit the little beast, but missed. Then Burke made a noose with a piece of heavy twine, and leaned far out over the water.
As Burke tried to slip the noose over the alligator's head he slipped and fell head foremost into the river. After some trouble he managed to climb out of the water, and, nothing daunted, he renewed his efforts to capture the alligator. A few minutes later Burke succeeded in lifting the animal out of the water and took it to the little shanty near by. Later it was placed in a barrel of water.
Owen, Mary. "They Found a Gator in the Chicago River? Believe It." Chicago Tribune. 21 June 2008. Smerconish, Michael. "Internet Rumors and the Endless Fight." [Albany] Times Union. 21 June 2008. The Chicago Daily Tribune. "Catches an Alligator in South Branch of River." 8 July 1902 (p. 16). United Press International. "Alligator Found in Chicago River." 21 June 2008.