Despite a few days of rain and snow in the northern Iowa region, it looks like more than just geese have headed north for spring.
Residents of Clear Lake reported seeing a large reptile moving through town, interrupting traffic. A woman saw the animal crossing Main Street.
“I was trying to help my people close K&B Emporium here. I went to lock the door and here she comes, walking down the street. We were all standing here like, What!”
Some employees denied seeing the animal, but the Clear Lake Police Department reported multiple calls to the animal driving through Clear Lake last night.
“We had five calls about this last night. A lady from South Shore Drive called and said she was blocking her car at her house,” Police Chief Roth said. “His dog was outside at the time and had run away. We have our eyes on both animals now.”
A man followed the animal to the lake, where it appears to be residing.
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“I was on my afternoon walk, just crossing the park when I saw him cross the street in front of me and walk down to the access platform. I couldn’t believe my eyes! After I pinched myself, I looked back, and all I saw was a splash, and the water swam in.”
Other area residents have reported strange noises coming from under the public dock. One said he heard a hiss that was too throaty to be a cat, and his growl was too deep to be a dog. But when he turned on a light under the dock, there was nothing.
Anglers who ventured onto the lake in this weather reported that their lines had been snapped as they brought in their catch, presuming it was now the Clear Lake monster stealing their fish.
Iowa DNR is still investigating how an animal of this magnitude made its way north to Clear Lake, but it’s likely a resident kept this reptile as a pet.
“You know, it’s such a shame when people take animals like these as pets. When they’re little, they can be easy to take care of. But as they get older…eh well, some people can’t take responsibility. Then it’s up to us to capture them and get them to safety.”
For now, MNR conservation officers believe this reptile continues to elude capture at Clear Lake. It is not known how big the animal is and if it really poses a danger to residents.
Officers advise staying out of the lake until the reptile has been captured, saying: “It’s April 1st, anyone would be a to trick to get into the water.”
The Globe Gazette wishes everyone a happy spring this April Fool’s Day.
Rae Burnette is GA and Crime & Courts Reporter at the Globe Gazette. You can reach her by phone at 641.421.0523 or Rae.Burnette@GlobeGazette.com