Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Who Says The River Isn't Clean?

The Feds are after the Chicago sewage treatment people about cleaning up the Chicago River, but it's plenty clean enough if alligators can make a home.

Kayakers have spotted a living alligator in the Chicago River, home to various types of carp and schools of used condoms but that's another creature altogether.

Alligator Bob has been called in to work his traps once again. No, this isn't the first time an alligator has taken up residence in the river. He's of the opinion that these gators are house pets that were purchased small and then caused the owner a tremendous shock when they grew.

The latest gator is sunning itself on the banks of the north branch, up near Belmont where there's plenty of small game to eat. You'd have to ask yourself how dirty the water could be if a water-based critter is able to live in it.

No one swims in the river, but that has more to do with the dredging and channeling that took place when the course of the Chicago River was reversed so that the city's waste could flow south to Lockport and Peoria and not into Lake Michigan.

Even so, an alligator would pose a threat to the occasional boater who might fall in, and that isn't the sort of scenario that the average Chicagoan is prepared to handle.

The river doesn't freeze over in winter because it's not that clean, but Chicago gets mighty cold in December and January and the alligator would become a gator-sicle if it isn't caught and sent down to Florida with the rest of the snowbirds.

As long as people buy pet alligators thinking they'll stay cute and small, Alligator Bob will be kept busy. Are these stray alligators of any use in curtailing the Canada goose population? Maybe he could temporarily relocate his captives to area ponds and golf courses.

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