BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. (KCTV) – A community in Kansas recently played host to a somewhat unwelcome visitor: a large, non-native lizard that took up residence in a lake.
At first there were only a few sightings, but as they got more common, animal control had to get involved.
Area resident Penny McCallister spotted the lizard while walking her dogs this summer.
“Up came this creature with four legs out of the water,” she said.
At first the neighbors were skeptical.
“She was ranting and raving about this sighting she had of a creature,” said Laura Helmuth Miller, one of McCallister’s neighbors.
But then someone in the Lake Forest community snapped a photo of the lizard, which was unlike anything they’d ever seen in Kansas before.
“People started seeing it more and more,” Miller said.
They even gave it a name.
“We called her Nessie, like the Loch Ness Monster,” McCallister said. “I mean, she took on that name. Everyone called her Nessie.”
People saw the creature on and off for the past several months, but with the lake giving the lizard cover, it was just too hard to catch.
“We’re hoping it wasn’t someone’s pet, and they let it out,” McCallister said.
This week, Bonner Springs Animal Control managed to trap the lizard and take it to a rescue in Missouri.
“I was glad to see it go, really,” Miller said.
It turns out it’s an Asian water monitor. Police are still trying to find out how it ended up in the lake.
“It made it exciting around here for a few months, but I’m glad he’s captured and didn’t hurt anyone,” McCallister said.
It’s not exactly the Creature from the Black Lagoon, but it’s still probably safer in captivity.