Alligator in Lake Michigan was just swimming along on Monday when it startled a passing kayaker near Waukegan, Illinois.
Authorities don't know who dumped the 4-foot-long reptile into the lake Michigan, but at least they now know what kind it is.
After initially believing the animal was a caiman, officials now say it is actually an alligator.
Either way, it had no business paddling around the suburban Chicago shoreline.
Waukegan spokesman David Motley said Tuesday that animal control officers are trying to determine who abandoned the creature, which was found with its mouth kept shut by rubber bands.
Motley said officials thought the animal was a caiman for much of Monday, but Rob Carmichael, curator of the Wildlife Discovery Center in nearby Lake Forest, later told him it was a female alligator.
The two species look similar, but an alligator's snout is more rounded and only its upper teeth can be seen when its mouth is closed, whereas a caiman's upper and lower teeth can be seen, said Andrew Biddle, the head of reptiles at Wild Florida Airboats & Gator Park in Kenansville, Florida.
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