Wildlife experts have warned of a giant killer beast lurking in waterways near the 2012 Olympic Park in East London. The warning came after eyewitness account of a 16 lb Canada goose dragged under water. Experts say it could be a pike or a python.
An eyewitness of the attack involving the Canada goose was Mike Wells, who lives in the Lea Valley in the neighborhood of the river. He said: "We were just passing the time of day looking at a Canada goose 30 yards away, but then it just suddenly disappeared. It went down vertically. There wasn’t any hesitation, it went straight down. It didn’t come back up. My friend and I looked at each other slack-jawed."
Following Well's eyewitness account of the incident, wildlife experts are speculating what the mysterious "monster" could be. The favorite candidate is a giant pike. According to experts, pikes could grow up to 40 lbs. Pikes, however, mostly prey on smaller fish but they have been known to attack ducklings. Experts speculate it could also be an escaped pet python or even a pet alligator. Pythons and alligators have a more varied diet and may take on any average sized animal. But experts say that a python or alligator would find it difficult to survive in cold winter water. Experts say a third possibility is a giant turtle or terrapin. Terrapins, according to experts, each fish, slugs, snails and may attack ducklings and duck eggs. A final suggestion is a large mink, a mammal that is known to attack ducks and small geese.
Daily Mail reports some people keep pythons, turtles and even alligators as pets, but abandon them after they have grown too big.
Mark Gallant, of the Lea Rivers Trust, explained that, "Someone might buy...a baby turtle. After they've had it in their pond, or bath, or whatever they are going to keep it for a while and the thing starts to grow and grow and grow and grow. Obviously they can't keep it in their homes anymore so what do they do? They think they are doing a good thing for the actual animal by putting it into a river or stream."
But many locals continue worrying that it could be an alligator or a python lurking in the water. Mark Wells said: "Being a river person, I pieced together what we’d seen in seconds. The goose was prey to something. A Canada goose is not a small bird. They weigh about 16 lb, so whatever took it was also large."
Artist's impression of finished Olympic Park
The Sun reports Mark Wells believes the beast must be the same as the creature which was reported to have taken down a goose in the same area in 2005. Daily Mail reports the staff of Lea Rivers Trust saw a Canada goose being dragged down into the water in 2005. The staff also reported large holes dug into the bank of the river by what must be a large animal.
Wells, according to The Sun, said: "It must be the same creature. Some people I've spoken to think it could be a very large pike and I've seen some turtles about a foot across, but they're not really big enough to take a goose."
Michael Allen, a Zoology graduate who lives in the neighborhood of Olympic Park, thinks it might be an escaped pet python. He says: "[A python] could survive in this climate, although it would be a bit sluggish. A small goose or a duck could be a perfect meal."
BBC reports that a spokesman for the British Waterways, however, tried to dampen fears. She said: "We don't believe there is a crocodile in the river. Things that have been suggested are a big pike or a mink, which can prey on ducks. But geese might be a bit big for them. In some areas you get terrapins which get dumped and have taken to the conditions well - they can get to the size of dinner plates.But geese might be too big for them to take as well."
The Sun reports experts say they have detected that the number of swan in the river and waterways near the 2012 Olympic park is dropping. A trap will have to be set to catch the animal, the experts say