A mysterious creature that struck fear in the hearts of fisherman in Trinidad for nearly a year has finally been identified as merely being a bizarre-looking bird.
Sightings of the strange beast began back in April at a pond near a sugar factory and tales of the oddity lurking in the waters there quickly took on a life of their own.
Once a popular fishing destination, the site was largely abandoned as local residents grew fearful of encountering the creature.
Some brave individuals attempted in vain to hunt the 'pond monster' and one prodigious reporter even managed to capture a photograph of the creature, which only deepened the mystery due to the ambiguous nature of the beast.
Witnesses who were 'lucky' enough to see it in person told of a harrowing experience that left them shaken to their core.
One such unlucky individual was Elvis Foster, who recalled to the Trinidad Express how he was up to his knees in the pond while fishing and suddenly realizing that the 'monster' was in the water with him.
"I didn't wait to draw no sketch. I leave everything," he said, "line, rod, net, and run."
Based on the creature's round black head, distinctly large white eyes, and the way in which it moved, Foster was certain that it was "a very big snake," leading many to surmise that the 'pond monster' was an anaconda.
However, it appears that Foster's assessment was in error as authorities believe they have determined the true nature of the creature.
Several commuters driving along a road relatively close to the pond reported seeing an eerie black bird plunging into the water to prey on fish.
Wildlife experts in Trinidad, in turn, connected these sightings with the 'pond monster' and realized that they were both likely the same creature: a Neotropical Cormorant, which is an odd-looking bird with a weirdly-shaped neck and a penchant for fishing.
Unfortunately for the fishermen who may wish to punish the bird for terrifying them, the creature is a protected species in the country, meaning that they'll just have to make do with being able to go back to the pond without worrying about being eaten.
Source: The Trinidad Express