Man Who Caught Chicago Alligator 'Chance the Snapper' Immortalized as Bobblehead - NBC Bay Area

Man Who Caught Chicago Alligator 'Chance the Snapper' Immortalized as Bobblehead

The figurine will be about 7 inches long, the company said, and is available for pre-sale for $25 plus an $8 shipping fee

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    How Florida Man Caught the Gator in the Humboldt Park Lagoon

    So how did Frank Robb, who owns Crocodilian Specialist Services in St. Augustine, get the job done? Quickly and with a plan. Chris Hush reports.

    (Published Tuesday, July 16, 2019)

    Not only will "Chance the Snapper" soon be a bobblehead — the man who captured him in Chicago's Humboldt Park Lagoon will be too.

    The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled a Frank "Alligator" Robb bobblehead on Thursday, featuring Robb — who was brought in from Florida to trap the creature who had roamed the lagoon for a week — and the infamous reptile itself.

    The bobblehead company had already announced plans for a standalone "Chance the Snapper" figurine with both bobbling head and tail, partially submerged in water and a sign reading "Danger" on its base. 

    The newest bobblehead will feature Robb holding the gator, with both heads capable of bobbling, according to a mock-up of the design. The figurine will be about 7 inches tall, the company said, and is available for pre-sale for $25 plus an $8 shipping fee. One dollar from every bobblehead sold will be donated to the Friends of Chicago Animal Care and Control, the company said. 

    Photo credit: The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum

    The famed alligator was caught last Tuesday, one week after it was first seen the morning of July 9. Illinois Conservation Police and Chicago Animal Care and Control responded to the scene, bringing in a reptile specialist dubbed "Gator Bob" who placed live humane traps that night. That effort proved unsuccessful for days, at which point city officials decided to take a new approach.

    The east side of the lagoon was fenced off from the public entirely on Sunday night and an expert from Florida was brought in to try his hand at the hunt.

    The CACC hired Robb, an alligator expert who owns Crocodilian Specialist Services in Florida. Robb was recommended by local experts in Florida, and arrived in Chicago Sunday for an examination of the area surrounding the lagoon. 

    Robb said those involved in the capture — which happened at around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday — had taken about eight laps around the lagoon and the surrounding area on foot overnight before he spotted the creature in the water. The alligator was about 25 feet from the shore on the north side of one of the lagoon's islands, Robb said.

    After they initially spotted it, the gator went underwater for a minute and then "vocalized," according to Robb, who then snared the gator with a fishing rod that had a large hook attached to the line. He then reeled the reptile in and grabbed it at the base of its tail with his hands. 

    "Chance the Snapper" made his public debut wearing a bow tie at a news conference hours later and was moved to a permanent, more suitable home in Florida later in the week.

    “The response for the Chance the Snapper bobblehead was tremendous, but we received so many requests for a bobblehead of Frank, who became an instant celebrity in Chicago after capturing Chance the Snapper so quickly,” National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum cofounder and CEO Phil Sklar said in a statement.

    "We were thrilled that Frank was as excited about his bobblehead as we were, and we can’t wait for fans to see the newest bobblehead featuring Chance the Snapper and the alligator hunter that took Chicago by storm!” 

    "The Lord blessed me with the gift of working with Crocodilians, and the blessings he and the City of Chicago have provided me are beyond my comprehension,” Robb said in a statement. “I am proud to say that a Dollar from each Bobble Head sold goes to help animals in need in the city of Chicago, through the Friends of Chicago Animal Care and Control. God Bless and Thank you!”

    The Wisconsin-based company said it expected the bobbleheads to be ready to ship in October.