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CTA releases photos of woman with alligator found at O’Hare

Surveillance phowoman CTA Blue Line traholding an alligator later recovered O'Hare. / phofrom CTA

Surveillance photo of a woman on a CTA Blue Line train holding an alligator later recovered at O'Hare. / photo from the CTA

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Updated: November 13, 2013 10:57AM

The CTA has released surveillance photos of a woman last seen with the abandoned alligator discovered at O’Hare International Airport earlier this month.

The alligator, which was 25 inches long, was discovered under an escalator by a maintenance worker on the lower level of Terminal 3 on Nov. 1, police said.

Chicago Police contained the alligator in a trash receptacle, and the Chicago Herpetological Society took custody of the animal, police said.

An image posted on social media showed the reptile on a CTA Blue Line Train, and CTA security began investigating how the alligator got to the airport, according to a statement from the transit agency.

The CTA found surveillance images of the woman, who boarded the northbound Blue Line train at the Pulaski station at 1:17 a.m. Nov. 1 with the alligator in her hand, the statement said. Interior rail car cameras show the woman holding the alligator in her hand and showing it to other passengers.

At 2:17 a.m., the woman exits the train with the alligator at the O’Hare station, the statement said. By 2:44 a.m., she is again seen near the turnstiles at the O’Hare station, but without the reptile.

If caught, the woman could face a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty and a fine of $300 to $1,000 for cruelty to animals or abandoning the animal in a public place.

The alligator is in poor health, but an attempt will be made to rehab the animal, which then will be shipped to an out-of-state facility where alligators are on display for the public, said Jason Hood, president of the Chicago Herpetological Society.

“It is very lucky to have been spotted and captured before the weather killed it,” Hood said.

Anyone with information about the woman is asked to contact the CTA at (888) 968-7282 or

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