Frank Robb, the gator trapper who caught the alligator dubbed Chance The Snapper on July 16, was paid $2,500 for the work that made him a Chicago superstar, and reimbursed for $2,166.34 in travel and lodging costs, records show.
The city spent another $6,140.48 to pay Animal Care and Control officers to work overtime, records show.
The biggest expense was the $22,842 it cost the Department of Streets and Sanitation to install and remove the fencing and barricades around the lagoon to keep out the crowds that flocked to the park to see the celebrity reptile while Alligator Bob tried — and failed — for several days to catch him, record show.
Robb sent an email to Animal Care and Control Executive Director Kelley Gandurski on July 13, offering to fly to Chicago to catch the gator and touting his experience and promising to catch the gator in two days — “Lord willing.”
“This has been my every day life, not like some whom may dabble at it or work with animals in captivity,” Robb wrote. “I am very confident in what I do.”
Among Robb’s requests was one to shut down the park to allow him “to work in stealth.”
Robb’s contract with the city was approved on an emergency basis, with Gandurski requesting approval July 17 under the city’s emergency procurement rules, noting that this was a “one time unique situation.”
Chance The Snapper’s trip to his forever home the St. Augustine Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, Florida, was paid for by the sanctuary, officials said.
Chance was first spotted at the Humboldt Park lagoon on July 9 and quickly captivated Chicago. Hundreds flocked to the park to spot the gator, cheering during rare sightings but otherwise enjoying the sun and spending time with family and neighbors at the water’s edge.