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'Lake Monster' Sparks Panic in China

By Tim Binnall

Sightings of a strange-looking fish lurking in a Chinese lake sparked something of a panic as residents were warned to avoid swimming at the spot due to the monstrous creature. The odd reportedly began earlier this month when a worker at the Baiyun Lake Park noticed a curious beast of some kind emerge from the water. The mysterious creature was described by the park ranger as being six-and-a-half-feet long and possessing the back of a turtle, but the head of a snake.

The man's encounter with the creature was apparently the culmination of a series of sightings at the lake made by other witnesses. In this instance, however, the worker was able to photograph the creature and, in turn, confirm the rumors that some kind of 'monster' had taken up residence there. In response, officials at the park promptly posted signs around the lake telling visitors not to go into the water.

As one might imagine, media outlets in the region quickly picked up on the story and put a decidedly sinister spin on the creature, calling it "ferocious" and a "killer in the water." Fortunately, the brouhaha came to an end on Monday when not one, but two of the 'monsters' were netted at the lake. Wildlife officials were able to identify the creatures as rather unique-looking fish known as an 'alligator gar.' And it would seem that much of the concern surrounding the interloper at the lake was overblown as the fish has never been known to attack a human.

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