Seeking The Sandwell Valleygator! - ShuterNature

Dr. Shuker looks back almost two decades to the time Sandwell Valley Country Park closed the beaches lest an errant swimmer become the next meal for...well, something Unfriendly. Originally thought to be some carnivore from the crocodile or alligator family--or more likely a hoax--the Sandwell Council nonetheless chose caution over practicality until it became clear that whatever was swimming about in the pond preferred prey smaller than humans. Eighteen years later, Dr. Shuker is confident that Sandwell was terrorized by a snapping turtle, meaning the only bits of humanity that were ever in danger were toes. In other news of Things That Deceive, Glasgow Boy shares correspondence and photographs from one of his readers to demonstrate how easily a misidentification can occur. A large piece of driftwood combined with the Loch's brisk current makes even the most inanimate of objects appear frightfully lifelike. The moral of these stories is to always take a second, third, and fourth glance before making assumptions when monster watching. (CM)

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