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Canadian Lake Monster Now Has A Price On His Head
PENTICTON, British Columbia, May 1 (Reuters) - Wanted: Scientific evidence of one elusive mythical lake monster. Will pay C$2 million ($1.3 million). No capture necessary.

After years of unconfirmed sightings, Ogopogo -- Western Canada's equivalent of the Loch Ness monster -- now has a reward on its head thanks to local businessmen, who have taken out an insurance policy just in case it is found.

"There have been so many sightings you have to believe there's something out there," John Singleton, manager of Penticton's chamber of commerce, which hopes the C$2-million reward will also boost tourism, said on Monday.

Stories of a large serpent-like creature living in Okanagan Lake, a 97-mile (155-km) long, 1,800-foot (720-meter) deep waterway in southern British Columbia, date back to the region's Indians who called it N'Ha-a-itk -- "The Lake Demon."

Japanese researchers tried several years ago to search the lake with special radar, but found nothing before their project ran out of money.

The reward's winner will have to meet specific scientific criteria to prove what they have found is Ogopogo and not just an unusually large sturgeon or other fish that lives in the lake, Singleton said.

He said his office has been deluged with phone calls since the reward plan was first reported, including some from people who are worried Ogopogo will be hurt or killed.

"You don't have to capture it. We're not going to put him in a zoo," Singleton said.

 
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