Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 17th, 2008
The lay of the land near Stivers Lagoon. Watch out for the water hazards on the nearby golf course.
Another report of a huge, unidentified reptile? Let’s put the latest sightings in their NoCal context.
The reptile spotted by two people at a Fremont, California, golf course last week remains at large, and there are no plans to look for it again unless someone else sees it, officials said.
A week after initially being alerted to a supposed 3-foot-long reptile – possibly an abandoned illegal pet caiman – in the water near the third green at Fremont Park Golf Center, animal control officials said there were no additional sightings over the weekend. At this point, the plan is to wait until someone else spots it, said Sgt. Jon Dauzat, the Fremont police officer in charge of the Tri-City Animal Shelter. (Or a golfer turns up missing after shooting an eagle?)
Sgt. Dauzat earlier had announced that he’d likely use a fishing pole and half a chicken breast to catch the reptile. Dauzat, who heads the Tri-City Animal Control, called off all efforts last Thursday amid hoards of onlookers and a reported third sighting of a caiman at a different body of water earlier in the week.
A diver hired to pluck golf balls out of a vast pond at the Stevenson Place golf course claims he came face to face with the reptile on July 8, 2008. And a day later the general manager of the facility said he saw some about 3 feet long surface and “turn over like a big fish.”
Those sightings came just three days after patrons at nearby Central Park spotted a similar looking reptile near Stivers Lagoon, which is at the south end of the park. (Stivers Lagoon is one of the last remnants of wild marshland where the Ohlone Indians used to come to collect their reeds for basket making.)
There is a creek that runs through the park and connects the lagoon and the golf course, Dauzat said.
There have not been any sightings since July 9, and neither Dauzat nor any of his employees have independently confirmed the sighting.
Officials have armed themselves with heavy-duty fishing equipment and are ready to catch it should there be another sighting at the golf course.
“I’m not going to go out there and just fish,” the sergeant said. “I wish I could, but I can’t.”
In Mysterious America, looking at the northern California file, I mention the eight-foot-long alligator sightings in East Bay Regional Park’s Lafayette Lake for October 1975, the Tulare Lake six-footer alligator sightings of 1930, and the series of ‘gator sightings for Folsom Lake from 1957-1958. Such incidents have long kept local residents jumpy.