When it comes to strange animal sightings in Wisconsin, there is no shortage of stories. But in the fall of 2010, the residents of Janesville, Wisconsin had a much bigger problem on their hands: a 4 to 5-foot-long monster on the loose.

Let's look at this bizarre story that had the town talking.

The First Encounter: A Lizard vs. Two Small Dogs

On September 28, 2010, a woman reported a frightening encounter between her two small dogs and a menacing, maniacal lizard. From that point on, the town was on high alert, like King Kong was on the loose.

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Rumors and sightings of the giant lizard started spreading like wildfire. The terror in the town was evident as parents were keeping their children indoors and pet owners were on edge. It was clear that this lizard was no ordinary reptile, according to witnesses.

The Lizard's Reign of Terror

This 4-5 foot long lizard was spotted throughout the town, including a nearby park where it was seen basking in the sun. The police and animal control were called in to help track down the elusive creature, but it always seemed to be one step ahead of them.

Google Maps, Canva
Google Maps, Canva

The Capture

Finally, on October 7th, the lizard was captured near the spot where it was first seen. Animal control used a trap to catch the lizard, which was identified as a monitor lizard - not exactly a native species to Wisconsin.

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Authorities never figured out where the lizard had come from. Still, the prevailing theory was that it had either escaped from its owner's home or was intentionally released into the wild after growing too large.

The Aftermath

After the capture of the monitor lizard, life in Janesville returned to normal. Pet owners breathed a sigh of relief, and children were once again allowed to play outside. However, the lizard's brief but memorable reign of terror left an indelible mark on the town.

The story of the Janesville lizard became a local legend, and for years to come, residents would swap stories about the time they came face to face with the giant reptile.

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