CHICAGO (CBS) — Conservation police, Animal Care and Control and Alligator Bob are all working together to find the alligator let loose in the Humboldt Park Lagoon four days ago. Five traps are on the water, but the gator has avoided all of them.

Alligator Bob’s search has become something of a spectator sport, but what visitors don’t see is another expert consulting with Animal Care and Control behind the scenes.

Frank Mazzotti, a wildlife ecology professor with the University of Florida, said he was first contacted for help Thursday.

“If they’re not hungry, they’re not going to take a bait right away,” he said.

He said Bob knows what he’s doing, and sending too many more people out would scare the gator even more and keep it under water.

He also said the creature is likely already scared of all the commotion.

“The only thing I did suggest was that maybe they should put an end to the watch parties,” Mazzotti said.

People are snapping photos of creatures in the water and showing them to Bob. He said spectators are not the only ones jumping to conclusions.

“The conservation officers we had here yesterday and again today, they’re snapping left and right at every little turtle, every little frog, ‘Oh there!'” he said. “Calm down fellas, it’s not exciting yet.”

Some false alarms are easier to spot than others, but Bob said some of the photos he has seen really do show the beast.

Tim McNicholas