Alligator found in Lake Michigan named after man who found him

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Saturday, October 13, 2018
Alligator found swimming in Lake Michigan
An alligator was found swimming in Lake Michigan near Waukegan Monday.

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (WLS) -- An alligator found by a kayaker swimming in Lake Michigan near Waukegan has a name: David.

WATCH: Kayaker talks about finding gator in Lake Michigan

A four-foot alligator was found swimming in Lake Michigan Monday morning in north suburban Waukegan, city officials said.

David the Alligator has been named after David Castaneda, who was kayaking and fishing in the lake Monday when he spotted the gator about four feet from his kayak. The animal had blue tape around its snout, he said.

"It was just so weird, something out of the ordinary," he said. "It's not supposed to be here, so it's not - it can't defend itself and it had its mouth closed, so it was going to die if I left it there."

Not wanting to wait for Waukegan Animal Control, Castaneda did what any resourceful angler would do: He caught it.

"So I just changed my lure to one that was more of a bigger hook and threw it over its back and it hooked on to the little scales that were on its back. And I started pulling it slowly towards me so it wouldn't freak out," he said.

David was taken to the Lake Forest Wildlife Discovery Center, where workers are nursing him back to health. Doctor said his health is improving, but he's been put on antibiotics and medications after blood work came back showing he had an infection caused by plastic and rubber in his stomach.

Doctors said David had a full meal Friday and seems to be improving with antibiotics. They will conduct more tests next week to measure his improvement. In the meantime he's being kept in warm water and being cared for by staff.

How the alligator ended up in the lake is still a mystery.