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Alligator spotted living in popular park in middle of city

Make it snappy: An alligator floats in the Humboldt Park Lagoon, Chicago PICTURE: AP

A FOUR- to five-foot alligator is living in a lagoon at one of Chicago’s most popular parks.

A Chicago police spokesman said yesterday that investigators went to Humboldt Park Lagoon on the city’s West Side and confirmed that the unusual resident is there as reported on social media.

Officials could not say how the creature got there but it is thought is was probably someone’s pet that escaped or was released.

Experts believe it has only been in the water for a matter of days and is used to being fed by its owner. It apparently hasn’t started hunting any local animals, but will soon.

City officials say alligator traps are being placed around the lagoon in the hope the animal will swim into one and be safely removed.

The police spokesman said the animal was expected to be trapped ‘and relocated to a zoo for veterinary evaluation’.

Alligators favour warm weather climates such as Florida but have been known to survive temporarily in the cold through a process similar to hibernation.