Something Strange Lurks in L.A. Lake...And It Likes Tortillas!

Mysterious Reptile Eludes Capture in Park

from Reuters

LOS ANGELES - A mysterious, alligator-like creature that surfaced in a Los Angeles suburb has eluded capture for nearly a week, shrewdly passing up raw chicken bait and dodging reptile wranglers in pontoon boats.

The 5-foot-long (1.5 meter) reptile was first spotted last Wednesday swimming in a lake at an urban park in the gritty Los Angeles suburb of Harbor City.

Park officials concluded that it was probably a Caiman, a relative of the alligator indigenous to South America, and speculate that it may have been an exotic pet that was abandoned when it grew too large.

As word of the odd sighting spread, hundreds of spectators have turned up to watch crews of police, firefighters, park rangers, state fish and wildlife workers and even local herpetologists comb the 53-acre (21 hectare) lake in pontoon boats, carrying nets and dangling raw chicken over the side.

Park officials are planning to take the reptile to the LA zoo when they capture it but all efforts so far to nab the creature have failed, despite claims by a local fisherman that he briefly ensnared it in a net by using flour tortillas as bait.


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