Live alligator mistaken for toy before being found and rescued in Lake Michigan

Authorities in Illinois rescued a four-foot alligator from Lake Michigan on Monday, officials said.

"It is not every day someone reports an alligator in Lake Michigan and the report is true," the city of Waukegan said in a Facebook post.

Image: Lake Michigan Alligator

Waukegan is roughly an hour north Chicago, on the banks of Lake Michigan near the Wisconsin state line.

A kayaker who initially believed the reptile was a dead salmon called 911 after seeing an alligator head in the water, the Lake County News-Sun reported.

"I was just in shock," the kayaker, David Castaneda, told the paper. "I wasn't sure if it was a real alligator or a toy."

The post said animal control officials and workers from a local yacht broker and storage business rescued the animal, which was taken to a wildlife center in the nearby city of Lake Forest.

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Muja, the world's oldest alligator
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Muja, the world's oldest alligator
An alligator named Muja eats a quail in its enclosure in Belgrade's Zoo, Serbia, August 14, 2018. Muja is officially the oldest American alligator in the world living in captivity. He was brought to Belgrade from Germany in 1937, a year after the opening of the Zoo. Muja survived three bombings of Belgrade, the Second World War and all hardships the Zoo went through. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
An alligator named Muja rests in its enclosure in Belgrade's Zoo, Serbia, August 14, 2018. Muja is officially the oldest American alligator in the world living in captivity. He was brought to Belgrade from Germany in 1937, a year after the opening of the Zoo. Muja survived three bombings of Belgrade, the Second World War and all hardships the Zoo went through. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
An alligator named Muja is seen in its enclosure in Belgrade's Zoo, Serbia, August 14, 2018. Muja is officially the oldest American alligator in the world living in captivity. He was brought to Belgrade from Germany in 1937, a year after the opening of the Zoo. Muja survived three bombings of Belgrade, the second World War and all hardships the Zoo went through. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
An alligator named Muja eats a quail in its enclosure in Belgrade's Zoo, Serbia, August 14, 2018. Muja is officially the oldest American alligator in the world living in captivity. He was brought to Belgrade from Germany in 1937, a year after the opening of the Zoo. Muja survived three bombings of Belgrade, the Second World War and all hardships the Zoo went through. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
An alligator named Muja rests in its enclosure in Belgrade's Zoo, Serbia, August 14, 2018. Muja is officially the oldest American alligator in the world living in captivity. He was brought to Belgrade from Germany in 1937, a year after the opening of the Zoo. Muja survived three bombings of Belgrade, the Second World War and all hardships the Zoo went through. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
An alligator named Muja rests in its enclosure in Belgrade's Zoo, Serbia, August 14, 2018. Muja is officially the oldest American alligator in the world living in captivity. He was brought to Belgrade from Germany in 1937, a year after the opening of the Zoo. Muja survived three bombings of Belgrade, the Second World War and all hardships the Zoo went through. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
An alligator named Muja is seen in its enclosure in Belgrade's Zoo, Serbia, August 14, 2018. Muja is officially the oldest American alligator in the world living in captivity. He was brought to Belgrade from Germany in 1937, a year after the opening of the Zoo. Muja survived three bombings of Belgrade, the Second World War and all hardships the Zoo went through. REUTERS/Marko Djurica TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
An alligator named Muja eats a quail in its enclosure in Belgrade's Zoo, Serbia, August 14, 2018. Muja is officially the oldest American alligator in the world living in captivity. He was brought to Belgrade from Germany in 1937, a year after the opening of the Zoo. Muja survived three bombings of Belgrade, the Second World War and all hardships the Zoo went through. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
An alligator named Muja eats a quail in its enclosure in Belgrade's Zoo, Serbia, August 14, 2018. Muja is officially the oldest American alligator in the world living in captivity. He was brought to Belgrade from Germany in 1937, a year after the opening of the Zoo. Muja survived three bombings of Belgrade, the Second World War and all hardships the Zoo went through. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
An alligator named Muja is seen in its enclosure in Belgrade's Zoo, Serbia, August 14, 2018. Muja is officially the oldest American alligator in the world living in captivity. He was brought to Belgrade from Germany in 1937, a year after the opening of the Zoo. Muja survived three bombings of Belgrade, the Second World War and all hardships the Zoo went through. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
An alligator named Muja rests in its enclosure in Belgrade's Zoo, Serbia, August 14, 2018. Muja is officially the oldest American alligator in the world living in captivity. He was brought to Belgrade from Germany in 1937, a year after the opening of the Zoo. Muja survived three bombings of Belgrade, the Second World War and all hardships the Zoo went through. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
An alligator named Muja is seen in its enclosure in Belgrade's Zoo, Serbia, August 14, 2018. Muja is officially the oldest American alligator in the world living in captivity. He was brought to Belgrade from Germany in 1937, a year after the opening of the Zoo. Muja survived three bombings of Belgrade, the Second World War and all hardships the Zoo went through. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
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It wasn't clear how the alligator wound up in the lake, but a photo posted to the city's Facebook page showed what appeared to be tape wrapped around its mouth.

An official with the wildlife center told the News-Sun the animal was "definitely on borrowed time."

"I would say it would be lucky if it lived another couple weeks," the official said, according to the paper. "Lake Michigan is only getting colder and colder each week."

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